Training your dog just took on a whole new meaning. 🐶🚇
Montreal's opposition party wants to throw a bone to local dog owners who take public transit. Ensemble Montreal is set to table a motion at the next City Council meeting on April 25 that would let leashed pooches onto buses and metro cars within six months.
The motion follows the lead of a popular Montreal SPCA petition, #FidoDansLeMetro, which has garnered more than 16,500 signatures. It calls on the Plante administration and the head of the STM’s board of directors to loosen restrictions on leashed pups.
Currently, only service dogs and small cats/dogs in closed carriers are allowed to ride with their owners. The proposed bylaw change would open up public transportation to bigger dogs, either restricting them to certain cars/seats or limiting the hours when they can ride.
Ce midi, nos \u00e9lu\u00b7e\u00b7s \u00e9taient accompagn\u00e9s de Bella, Charlie, Perry et Th\u00e9o pour une grande demande: celle d\u2019autoriser les chiens en laisse dans le r\u00e9seau de la @stm_nouvelles d\u2019ici les six prochains mois afin que Montr\u00e9al devienne une v\u00e9ritable amie des animaux. 1/3 #polmtlpic.twitter.com/qDskJxD3PJ— Ensemble Montr\u00e9al (@Ensemble Montr\u00e9al) 1649704553
Ensemble Montreal said the proposed motion is intended to encourage more use of public transportation. It will also let dog owners access vets and dog parks not located near their homes.
"It is counterproductive to have to own a car or take a cab to get around with your dog. For Montreal to become a truly pet-friendly city, this is the next step," said the head of Official Opposition at Montreal City Hall, Aref Salem in a press release.
A Toronto pilot project in 2018 found that the presence of leashed dogs on public transportation didn't impact overall rider satisfaction. No allergy-related problems were reported and a strong majority of train users (80%) and bus users (72%) said they were satisfied or neutral about the new policy.
"Animals have the power to bring us together, to get us talking to each other. It can help improve the atmosphere on public transit," said City Councillor for the Bordeaux-Cartierville district Effie Giannou.
"It’s amazing how much a dog can make people smile, we see it now when we see a service dog," she said.
According to the Association des médecins vétérinaires du Québec, nearly one in four Montreal households had a dog in 2020. A number that has likely gone up during the pandemic, as residents adopt furry companions to keep them company while working from home.
MTL Blog has reached out to Projet Montreal for their stance on the motion.