Public city buses are great modes of transportation and allow you to safely move around the city with your child without having to bring a car seat with you! Most kids love taking the bus. As a parent interested in your chilld’s safety, you should like the bus too, because buses are safer than cars.
Buses are large and thus very visible, which means they’re less likely to be involved in a crash. They also move at slower speeds than cars (especially some NYC buses) which means any crash is likely to be less severe. When a bus is involved in a crash, the bus’s large size helps protect the passengers by absorbing most of the crash forces. Passengers are less likely to be injured also because–unless hit by another bus or truck–they are sitting high off the street, so they’re hit around their legs and feet, not around their head or chest like if they were riding in a car.
You cannot use a car seat on a public city bus because the bus does not have a seat belt or lower latch anchors–so there is no way to secure the car seat properly. To safely take your child on the bus, make sure you hold your child tightly or use a front pack carrier (BabyBjorn, Ergo, Snugli, baby wrap, etc). And make sure you hold on yourself!! Obviously if you can get a seat, sit down – as this will decrease your chances of falling or hitting something in a sudden stop. Kids will stay entertained by looking out the window and interacting with other passengers.
Long-distance buses – like Greyhound, MegaBus & tour buses – are a different story, and while it isn’t required that you use a child safety seat, it’s a good idea. Long distance buses travel at high speed on the highway. Fortunately, these buses are becoming safer for small children (and adults). Some buses now have seat belts and some even have lower latch anchors. If you plan to take a long distance bus journey with your child, find out which bus companies offer seat belts or lower latch anchors–and allow you to bring the child safety seat–and book your trip!