DH and I took our girls (almost 2 years and 2 months) to Denali National Park today. There is a free bus to see a sled dog demonstration. It's an old school bus. We get in line, and an employee brings me a convertible carseat and an infant bucket and tells me that both my girls MUST be buckled in to these seats.
We're about to drive a very short distance (just a few miles - many people walk it but we would have missed our train if we could do it at all) on a road that is only open to a very limited number of tour buses driven by park employees.
The toddler seat seems dirty, but otherwise fine. The shoulder straps are a little too high, and I'm not sure it can be safely strapped in rear facing, but I we might have been able to move the straps and I'd be ok with DD riding this distance forward facing.
The bucket seat is a whole other ball game. Dirty, old, the shoulder straps are put in at different heights, they aren't adjustable and are way too long for my infant, the seat can't be attached to the bus seat securely and the harness is a THREE point harness. I got the shoulder straps threaded at the right height and that took all the time we had.
We had to get on the bus. As it turned out, no one cared if my infant was strapped in. I nursed her the first trip and kept her in the Ergo on the second trip. My older daughter gleefully shouted her joy about everything she saw from her dirty carseat.
What would you have done in this situation if the seats were enforced? Is it safer to have an infant in an Ergo strapped to an adult or in a carseat like the one I described?
I ride on the public bus with my LO in a wrap all the time, but of course I am not dragging around a carseat. The only other option is in my lap, as I would not be allowed to leave him in a stroller, which I wouldn't want to do anyways. Riding in a moving vehicle without seat belts like a bus is not really safe anyways, but I feel he is probably the safest one on the bus. I would have requested that I could leave him in the carrier, especially because it is a pain to have to do and undo them from carriers and carseats for short distances and with this kind of situation probably just as safe
Well, if there are no belts on the bus you cannot legally use a seat. That being said, on large buses restraints of any kind are not required. Buses are WAY safer than cars anyways. And on school buses, the method of compartimentalization is used in a crash (though it's only safe for older children, not infants, in that instance). That being said, my ds1 rides the school bus and I have no issue with it and I've been on greyhound and public city buses with my kids and feel very safe.