Dogs will soon be allowed on GO Transit.
After a recent petition, Metrolinx did an extensive review of policies on its system related to pets, according to spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.
“We listened to our customers, both dog lovers and those less inclined to want to share their space with canine-riders,” said Aikins. “We also reviewed other transit agency pet policies (locally and internationally) and their experience with dogs on transit.”
Aikins said the goal is to harmonize their practice across GO, UP, as well as the TTC, and to encourage more ridership when the system isn’t as busy.
“More people are using transit regionally travelling across borders and we want to encourage more of that and make transit an easy and convenient choice. And of course, keep both beloved pets and our customers safe,” she said. “We think we’ve found a good balance.”
The new dog pilot will start on July 20, and will continue until October 15.
During this time, a maximum of two leashed dogs will be able to travel with customers on GO and UP trains on weekdays between 9:30 am and 3:30 pm and from 6:30 pm until the end of service, and all day on weekends and holidays.
And for those travelling during rush hour when GO Transit is busy, Metrolinx says that dogs are allowed on board, but they must be in a pet carrier that can fit on your lap or under your seat.
While the news is welcoming to all the little furry friends, keep in mind that dogs must be on the lower level of trains. And in case of accidents, pick up after your dog, but dispose of it off the train.
All other pets, including birds, rodents or reptiles, must be in a secure carrier at all times while on board.
“We aren’t making any changes to our service animal policy,” added Aikins. “Service animals are always welcome on board with their owners all day, every day, and must wear a vest and have identification from an accredited training organization.”
Throughout the pilot, Metrolinx will monitor feedback from customers and staff to help guide future plans.