From October 15 | Dogs allowed in the metro, under certain conditions

It will be possible from October 15 to travel with your dog in the Montreal metro. However, users will only be able to do so outside peak hours during the week, and will have to equip their animal with a muzzle. Only one dog per user will be authorized as part of this nine-month pilot project.

Posted at 10:17 a.m.

Henri Ouellette-Vezina

Henri Ouellette-Vezina
The Press

This was announced on Wednesday by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). The chairman of the board of directors, Éric Alan Caldwell, indicated that he will “rigorously and continuously evaluate the results of the pilot project in order to make an informed decision on the implementation of such a measure” on a permanent basis.

In April, the opposition at City Hall first proposed allowing dogs on board public transport. Advisors from the Ensemble Montréal party even held a press conference to announce their project. Shortly after, Montreal City Council unanimously adopted a motion asking the STM to assess the possibility, emphasizing the importance of organizing a communication and public awareness campaign.

Thus, several instructions will be given to owners to promote a “harmonious cohabitation” with the rest of the users, whom the transport company also invites “to show civility and respect”. First, Montrealers will not be able to travel with their pet during rush hours during the week, that is, in the morning from the opening of the metro until 10 a.m., and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

On weekends and holidays, they will be able to use the network at all times. However, dogs will be “prohibited during major events”, such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Owners must also provide their animal with a muzzle, ideally of the “basket type”, and leave it with them throughout the journey. It will also be necessary to “hold firmly on a leash” the dog, with a maximum length of 1.25 meters (49 inches).

However, this decision could arouse discontent. The Press had solicited the opinion of its readers on this question on April 12. Result: nearly three quarters of the approximately 300 respondents did not want dogs on buses and in the metro. Many cited animal allergies or fear of being bitten to explain their opposition.

Longueuil excluded

For the time being, only stations belonging to the STM will be included in the pilot project. Thus, the Longueuil – Université-de-Sherbrooke station will be excluded initially. Discussions are underway with the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain and the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) on this subject.

Finally, owners are asked to “pick up and clean up any mess the animal may leave”, to prevent the animal from climbing on seats or benches, and to only transport one dog at a time, per customer. . The STM also says it “strongly recommends” avoiding the lead car of the train, which is preferred for school groups, daycare services and people with functional limitations or cyclists. Escalators are also not recommended for dogs.

“This is a first in the history of the Montreal metro and a major change for our teams. Everything will be put in place to ensure that this trial period takes place in optimal conditions, ”assured the Director of Bus and Metro Operations of the STM, Nathalie Clément, on Wednesday.

She specifies that four elements will be evaluated as a priority during these nine months of the pilot project: the safety of customers and employees, the integrity and cleanliness of the facilities, the impact on the quality of the service offered and, overall, the experience customer.

With Isabelle Ducas

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