British Columbia

Dogs on buses considered in Victoria transit survey

Victoria Transit buses could be going to the dogs, if some pet owners have their way.

Victoria Regional Transit System is asking for input with online survey

B.C. Transit policy currently allows service dogs and pets in travel carriers on buses, but that could soon change in Victoria. (Martin Morin/Wikipedia)

Victoria Transit buses could be going to the dogs, if some pet owners have their way.

The Victoria Regional Transit System is asking riders if they're open to letting more dogs on board, and if so, under what circumstances.

The current policy on pets on buses is the same in Victoria as it is in the rest of the province: service dogs are permitted, as are small dogs and other animals, a long as they're kept in carriers on the passenger's lap.

Daphne Taylor would like to take her dog Toby with her everywhere she goes, even when she's getting there by bus.

"i know other towns cities allow dogs on buses, why don't we here in Victoria?"

Calgary transit allows leashed dogs wearing muzzles and Toronto lets dogs ride during off-peak times.

That's why Taylor started a petition that garnered 800 signatures calling for leashed dogs to be allowed.

And that convinced the Greater Victoria Transit Commission to ask staff for a study, so they launched the survey online.

The survey proposes several options and restrictions, such as banning dogs during peak hours, limiting them to certain routes or sections of the bus, or requiring muzzles or leashes.

The response has been overwhelming, with more than 700 responses in the first 24 hours and counting, according to spokesperson Meribeth Burton.

"The response was swift and passionate. People who love their pets were very supportive, and there were many people who have allergies or just have concerns," said Burton.

The survey will be online until Nov. 9 and the commission could vote on the issue in December.
 

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