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Dogs on buses, Victoria BC, a follow up story

 
 

You may have read my first story which outlined the rules of dogs on buses in Vancouver, Victoria, and compared them to Calgary and Toronto.

In this story I say that I would like to see the rules in BC the same as they are in Calgary and Toronto, that being, all dogs either on leash or in a carry container, and under the control of the owner/handler, should be allowed on buses. But only at non peak times.

No, no one wants a bus full of dogs, so there should be limits too.

And there has to of course be consideration for those that are afraid of dogs or those that have allergies.

According to some research done in Europe is seems that the clothes of the dog owner may cause more allergic reaction than the dog, for those that have allergies. So, Ok, no I am not suggesting that dog owners wear a gunny sack, or whatever you might be thinking. The point is the allergy factor is very low. Dogs, service dogs and those in kennels are already allowed. A separate section of the bus, for dogs and owners might be helpful too.

 

No one wants a bus full of wet noses and wet muddy feet. Is that the dogs or the people? Ok, I mean the dogs. Where is the common sense? If common sense were evenly distributed, there would be no muddy footed dogs on the buses.

There would have to be rules, including, dogs should be clean. All dogs would have to have a license, a rabies vaccine up to date, and be trained to behave well in public.

It is my belief that with dogs on leash, muzzled, under control of the owner, in non- rush hour times, there would be no passengers or drivers put in an uncomfortable position, and this would allow those that simply can't get out of their own neigbourhood to take their dog- to the vet, to a walkathon, to a park, to work, to take the dog on the bus. But not just out for the fun of riding a bus.

There are lots of dog owners that this logically simply would not work. If someone has three Great Danes ( as lovely and as docile as they can be), they would take up so much space; one would think common sense would say you can’t take them on a crowded bus.

Not all dogs owners would want to ride the bus with their dogs. The large dog owner, ( the dog being large I mean, not the owner) quite used to having his vehicle for his dogs would not find it a benefit.  Yet those that just use their car because they cannot ride transit with the dog, on a simple easy route, would leave the car at home.

Ridership would increase, as would revenue, as the dog should pay its way. Well the dog owner of course.  I think most dog owners would be willing to pay a concession rate, and somewhere in area of $1.50 to 2.50 might be fine. Or a monthly or annual pass.

 

Not everyone has control of their dog. Dogs and owners would need to pass a test in order to ride a bus.

The dogs of course would not be allowed to sit on the seats, and all dogs should be trained to lie at masters feet, under the seat, as part of the basic training.

 

Yesterday I had the opportunity to present my suggestion – all dogs on leash and under control of owner ( in non peak times) should be allowed on bus- at a meeting of the organization that sets the rules to meet all riders needs, (in Victoria BC.)

I did not know until a few days before the meeting that another party was also presenting on this topic. This group being well known in Victoria had gathered a significant number of signatures. They have since been on the news and in the press.

 I have just taken some time to read the responses to the story that was run on Global TV. There are certainly extreme opinions for and against!!!. Dog lovers, dog haters, and those that think that all dog owners are kookoo (nutty).
Many valid points, some totally ill informed, sorry to say.
 
I am a dog lover and dog owner; I am not suggesting for a second that anyone should just bring their dog, at any time of day with no rules in place. There are some very careless dog owners, and some very responsible ones..
 
When I went back to Vancouver Tuesday evening, I got a ride to the ferry with my dog – in a car. I had parked my car on the other side, and there is a small bus that takes passengers (also allows dogs) to the parking lot. I got on first with my dog. It became quite crowded after I got on.  The two people on either side of me were very helpful, and my dog took up no more room than everyone’s bags.  Very civilized.

I dont have a picture from that day, but this is from another day, a couple of years ago. This day it was pouring rain, and I was at least a half an hour from home, all up hill. I happened to say to a bus driver, as I was waiting undercover in a large bus shelter, that it is too bad dogs are not allowed on buses. He asked me where I was going, and said, -on my bus they are allowed today.
 

Yes, this is a hot topic it seems.

 

I have since sent some useful follow up information to the board.  This board is charged with making decisions and or recommendations with all customers/riders in mind.

There are valid concerns to be heard.

It was voted that the board would gather facts and come back to the next meeting in December with their recommendations.

 

 

This is a summary of points I feel are important

 

  • Limit the number on the bus
  • Driver discretion
  • All dogs to be muzzled
  • All dogs and owner have approved training
  • Common sense
  • Dogs must be licensed (wearing a tag) and vaccinated
  • Dogs must know how to lie under the seat (part of the training)
  • Separate area
  • Dogs only allowed if room on bus
  • In non peak time
  • Charge a fee

Allergens are in the air and on clothes anyway- not just the dog

A special bus for dogs and people (maybe an idea- anyone have the money??)

 

No one wants a bus full of dogs, so there has to be limit and a use of common sense by the owners and by the bus driver, just the same as when people get on- is there enough room for baggage, and baby carts, wheelchairs prams and trolleys?. Dogs should not take from this room.

So- only on some buses?

Certain times of day?

 

What do you think?

 

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