SkyTrain and bus dog policy challenged by transit user
Leashed dogs already allowed on Calgary, Toronto and Seattle transit, but not in Vancouver
TransLink could be reviewing its pet policy to determine whether Metro Vancouver will join regions like Calgary, Toronto and Seattle in allowing leashed dogs on transit.
Right now, only assistance or guide dogs and small pets in carriers are allowed on buses, the SeaBus and the SkyTrain.
But Margaret Halsey, a dog owner who lives in New Westminster, made a presentation to TransLink last week asking the board to reconsider.
"What I asked for is for them to change the policy to allow all dogs on leash, under control of the owner, wearing a muzzle—and there were lots of conditions: a coat, a jacket indicating it was approved, [and] only certain times of the day."
Halsey said she loves taking her eight-year-old whippet around town to different urban and regional parks, but that she'd rather take transit than drive.
"It's so much easier for me to just get on a SkyTrain with my dog if I want to go downtown to, say, walk Stanley Park or the Seawall rather than one person, one car."
Vancouverites divided on canine commuters
After this story aired on CBC Vancouver, Vancouverites took to Twitter to send their thoughts on TransLink's canine commuter policy to host Andrew Chang.
Sharon Marelle (@MarelleHobbs) was generally in favour, so long as the animals that ride are properly trained.
Lizz (@Elizatwit) thought it was a great idea that would allow her to stop using her car.
A few people even said revising the policy to allow for leashed dogs on transit might help Vancouver achieve its environmental goals.
"Sounds good since we live in city that encourages transit and not car trips. This would be great for SeaBus," tweeted Ian Andrew Bell.
"If the goal is a greener Vancouver, fewer car use, more transit use, yes to dogs on transit. With rules and cost of fare," wrote Daniele Hart.
But not everybody was convinced.
"No! If you can put them in a carrier, fine. But I don't trust dog owners to train their dogs. Sorry," said Sasha Duggan on Twitter.
"Also, allergies and the fact that there often isn't enough room on transit for the people who want to take it."
What do you think? Tell us by taking the poll and commenting below.
With files from the CBC's Bal Brach