August 05, 2019
There’s a chunk of time as a parent when it feels strange to leave the house without a buggy. It becomes an extension of you – part of your body, part of your identity.
Every Mode Of Public Transport Ranked, According To How Much It Sucks With A Buggy
You’ll sometimes nod in solidarity when someone walks past with the same model as you, or get too involved with other people’s choices. “OH, I see Roger’s opted for the SJ-13 deluxe version,” you murmur to your partner. “Ours is better though, right?”
A fair amount of time is spent hauling them (your buggy, not your partner) in and out of various things – using your foot as a weird kind of cantilever when getting onto a bus, or lifting the full weight of them when a train shows up an unnecessary foot above the platform. 
It can be effortless and elegant – or it can involve a huge amount of perspiration, unparliamentary language and gambling with gravity when you’re battling with public transport. And spare a thought for wheelchair users, who have it even worse. [Read More: No Toilets, No Seats, No Way To Leave... The Endless List Of Problems Wheelchair Users Face On Trains]
We’ve ranked eight modes of transport on how much they suck with a buggy –from best to worst (in my experience, anyway). #1 The TrainSure, they’re the most expensive way of travelling in the goddamn world, but trains are great with little ones. There’s space for luggage – which means space for buggies – and if your kids are at the pootling about stage, there’s loads of space to pootle about. There are tables, toilets and a bar: magnificent. That’s all if you’re travelling off-peak, of course – travelling by rail when it’s really busy is a a sweaty nightmare in which other people keep jabbing into your buggy, and your child goes mad and wants to get out. Not fun for anyone involved.#2 The CoachThe coach is really good. It’s better than a normal bus, because you don’t have to drag your buggy onto it and can opt for chucking it into the fun bus dungeon thing instead. It’s got seatbelts, so you can drift in and out of consciousness with a bit more confidence than if you were on the 29 bus, and those little tray things are occasionally lifesavers – especially if the “we’re on holiday” rules apply and you’re happy to prop the phone up on ’em and steam six episodes of Hey Duggee in a row.#3 The TramA tram is halfway between a bus and a train. It has the directional limitations and infrastructural requirements of a train, but looks like a bus. Absolutely fine with a buggy, to be honest. [Read More: Everything My Toddler Is Allowed To Do That I, A Fully-Grown Adult, Am Somehow Not]#4 The FerryIt’s just a house on the water. Pretty easy. #5 The BusWaiting at a bus stop with a buggy is fraught with anxiety. The allocated space on board is extremely finite – fitting just two – and if another buggy-pusher has had the audacity to board the bus before you, they’d better not have twins.
Or, you’ll get on and find that for no apparent reason this particular bus has been fitted with an architecturally useless pole that necessitates doing a weird showgirl-with-a-pram type swoop around it. And then, if you can’t get the seat next to the buggy part, you panic when the bus takes a corner, hoping the big bag of cans you hung on the handle doesn’t pull the whole thing over. #6 The PlaneKeeping hold of your wheels after checking in is awesome, but often includes the single hardest bit of buggy-maneuvering there is. You have to hand it across at the last minute and, depending on the type of buggy, how it folds, the airline and the airport, this can suuuuuuck.[Read More: How To Fly With A Baby And Not Lose Your Mind: A 10-Point Guide]
You might have the nice experience where you just hand the buggy to a smiling lady while they scan your ticket, but more often than not, on cheaper airlines, you have to bag it up then carry it and your child down a bunch of stairs and across the tarmac to a baggage handler. If it’s just you and the baby travelling, you have to somehow carry everything at once – baby, buggy, nappy bag, hand luggage – with bits and bobs dangling off you like that saucepan guy from the Enid Blyton books. It’s rotten, and means you board the plane extremely eager for a warm €6 lager.The biggest problem with having buggies on the London Underground is getting into the stations.#7 The London Underground The actual trains on the Tube are fine, although some people seem determined to sit on the seats designated as wheelchair and buggy spaces, even though they’re less comfortable than the regular seats. Is it because flopping a seat down to sit on it means you feel like you’re in a cinema? Must be. Whatever it is, people can be dicks about it.
But the biggest problem with having buggies on the London Underground is getting into the stations. Out of 270 stations, 78 have step-free access – and mainly only the newer ones. And even some of them with step-free access involve ridiculous journeys where changing lines requires three or four separate lifts. Most buggies are fine on escalators – but spare a thought for wheelchair users who don’t have that option.#8 The TaxiCar seats aren’t legally necessary in taxis for some reason. It sort of makes sense, as taxis don’t spend a lot of their time carrying kids around and would need to have all sizes of seats at all times, but it still seems a bit weird.
In my experience, taxi drivers always seem to be annoyed when you put things in their boots and disrupt their tidy arrangement of an old towel, two bungee cords in states of disrepair and a coil of rope. Not the best. MORE FROM MIKE RAMPTON: This Is Why Kids Love Talking About Poo And Bums So Much Why Millennials Don’t Ring Doorbells Pokémon Sleep: Is This Every Parent's Dream Invention?
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