Recently (OK, back in February), Todd from the Czech Republic e-mailed to share information about Dogs on Board!, a campaign to allow pet dogs on buses and trains. From DoB’s mission statement:
In Europe it is the norm that people can take full-size non-assistance dogs on urban transit, regional trains, intercity trains and so on, though rarely on intercity buses, generally for half price and sometimes for free, sometimes with a muzzle and nearly always with a leash, with the driver or staff empowered to remove transit customers and their pets if there are problems.
In Canada and the USA the situation in unfortunately nearly the opposite, with only a handful of transit operators allowing full-size dogs onboard…
Metro, of course, allows dogs and other pets (let’s talk later about why it’s so hard to find any information about it on the Web site), but several other agencies in the region (Sound Transit, for example) do not. Todd and the folks at DoB are looking to change that.
At the beginning of the project, Dogs on Board! Will focus on three types of environments for pilot projects (in order of emphasis):
1) The six large cities/metropolitan areas in Canada and the USA which have core transit services (and or multiple suburban services) that currently allow large pet dogs: Boston, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, and Toronto, in order to lengthen and create the “canine mobility chain”…
While I certainly appreciate DoB’s efforts, I’m not sure how I feel about allowing dogs on buses. My gut tells me it’s a good thing. After all, I’d like transit to be usable for as many people as possible, and lots of people have pets. (Heck, I had a fifteen-year old dog when I went car free in 2003.) On the other hand, there are lots of folks with allergies and fears–not to mention aversions to strong, unpleasant odors–and I can’t help picturing chaos (three dogs barking their heads off at each other, or blocking the aisles on a crowded route) whenever I consider the issue. Bottom line: I’m on the fence.
Zeus, one of Metro’s cutest canine customers
Your turn. Is allowing dogs on buses a good idea?