Pet ban on London Transit may end, but with restrictions

Fido may soon be able to join the ranks of London Transit bus passengers.

A report going to the London Transit Commission (LTC) suggests permitting small domestic animals in carriers on city buses would benefit riders who need to transport their pets.

Currently, all pets are prohibited on London Transit buses.

In keeping with provincial accessibility laws, service animals are allowed while working to aid their owner.

London Transit recently reviewed the pet policies of six similar transit services (Brampton, Durham Region, Hamilton, Kingston, Milton, Mississauga, Toronto, Windsor and Waterloo Region) and discovered it is the only one that bans pets.

Other municipal transit systems have a variety of rules based on species, use of carriers and time of day.

The new policy being proposed to the LTC states, “Small domestic pets can be transported on London’s public transit services only if they are in a fully enclosed pet-purpose cage/carrier that can either be held on the lap of the rider or fit under the seat/at their feet where they sitstand.”

However, not every pet species would be allowed on buses.

The definition of a small domestic pet is proposed to be, “generally defined as a mammal or bird (ie cats, dogs, rabbits) that can be transported in a pet-purpose carrier. Excludes all exotic pets (ie snakes, lizards)”

In September, members of the LTC’s Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee (APTSAC) expressed several concerns about allowing pets on buses because they could negatively affect service animals:

  • pets have not necessarily been trained for the experience on board a bus
  • a service animal could be injured in an altercation with a pet
  • an altercation occurring while the bus is in transit would be left to the owners to control given the operator is driving the bus
  • a pet acting out on the specialized service would put all passengers who are in secured positions at risk given their inability to move

The proposed pet policy will be considered by the London Transit Commission at its meeting on Jan. 25.

If approved, a communications campaign will notify riders about the new rules and requirements.

London Transit would start permitting small domestic pets in carriers on March 1.

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