Dog owners in the Lower Mainland are demanding changes to TransLink’s pet policy.
A new Change.org petition, started by dog owner Portia Zaffaroni, says TransLink should “allow dogs in backpacks and carriers with their heads exposed.”
According to their website, Translink public transportation allows one pet per person, as long as they are kept contained in “small, hand-held, fully enclosed carriers that fit in your lap, with no part of the animal exposed.”
The policy goes on to say that, “drivers may refuse to allow pets on board, at their discretion. This may be because of a risk to other passengers or because of limited space. We recommend travelling during off-peak times.”
However, the petition states that this is not good enough, as it limits the travel options of those with larger dogs. With rising gas and car ownership prices, it is unfair to have such strict limits.
“It’s unreasonable to expect dog owners to own a vehicle or pay for a car-hire every time they want to travel with their pet,” the petition states.
The call demands that TransLink adopt a policy similar to New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is less strict in its rules surrounding pets.
MTA’s policy requires pets to be “in a bag or other container and carried in a way that doesn’t annoy other riders.”
In 2017, the Vancouver Park Board recommended finding ways to grant dogs more access on public transportation to encourage pet owner to use municipal parks.
TransLink reviewed its pet policy in 2018 but made no changes.
The petition creators have also launched a Facebook page to provide updates on the campaign.