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Buses go to the dogs

Auckland council candidate calls for dog friendly policy on public transport

September 4, 2013

The allowance of small dogs on public transport in Auckland could soon be a reality, if a council candidate has his way.

Rob Thomas is welcoming the discussion to allow for dog friendly public transport on Auckland’s bus and train services.

He says many cities worldwide have small dog-friendly transport policies.

“If it’s small enough to fit on your lap it’s small enough to go on public transport.”

Auckland Transport allow only guide dogs and guide dogs in training on buses if under supervision of their care-giver although Waiheke Island ferries and buses are the only exception to the policy.

“There are thousands of dog owners across Auckland that are limited by their transport options and are forced into driving,” he says.

“For years Aucklanders have taken dogs on Waiheke Island passenger transport and now is the time to look at extending the dog-friendly network across Auckland.”

Thomas says residents across the inner-city are frustrated with the lack of options which is costing them hundreds of dollars a year in parking and fuel while empty trains go past their homes.

“To make this work, there will need to be rules in place to ensure dogs are well-behaved, leashed and that people clean up any mess.

“Whether or not a dog can ride on a bus or train should ultimately be up to the discretion of the driver.”

He says pets teach children valuable life lessons like how to communicate, be empathetic, nurturing, confident and resilient to change.

“Dogs are an everyday part of living in Auckland and it’s time to take practice steps to have more dog-friendly transport options.”

Over 85,000 dogs were registered across the city at the last count.

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