Victories for MUNI parents, Caltrain riders

That loud whooooosssshhh you just heard on Muni? For once, it isn’t the sound of your bus breaking down. It’s the collective sigh of relief from parents everywhere, who will soon be allowed to board with unfolded, occupied strollers.

This week MUNI became the first transit system in North America to allow all-door boarding. Now, the agency announced it is making it easier for parents with tots to  ride as well.

In a victory for exhausted parents, children in strollers will be allowed on MUNI as long as the carriage wheels are locked, baby is buckled in and the aisles remain free. They’ll even get full access to the wheelchair lifts.

Currently, parents have to collapse their strollers, wrangle in their babies and pay the fare at the same time — a move that makes everyone on the bus a bit nervous.

This week heralds exciting changes for Caltrain riders too, who will get a glimpse of their new arrival and departure times prediction system beginning tomorrow. The first round of testing lasts through Friday, and will include both visual and audio announcements.

When all goes according to plan, Caltrain keeps to within seconds or minutes of its published timetables. But things aren’t always peachy for the rail line, as accidents, construction, and yes, the s-word — suicides — can delay the system for hours in both directions.

Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn told CBS-SF the prediction system is expected to go live by the end of the year.