No plans to allow pets on Otago buses

There are no plans to allow pets on Otago buses, but the idea could be be reviewed next year.

Auckland Transport is trialling allowing contained pets on buses and trains during off-peak hours.

This follows Wellington, which has done the same.

The Otago Regional Council has no plans to follow suit but said yesterday its Regional Public Transport Plan was being drafted, which would be an opportunity to include the policy for review next year.

Council transport manager Gerard Collings said not all pets were well-trained and ''not everyone likes dogs, cats and other pets''.

''As a public service with patronage of around 250,000 rides per month in Dunedin and 140,000 per month in Queenstown currently, we have to be mindful of the needs and comfort of all of our customers, looking also at seating capacity and aisle space.''

The council's policy allowed service dogs such as guide and hearing dogs, and puppies in training, to board buses with their caregivers.

''They are expected to be on a lead and sitting on the floor.''

Otago Heritage Bus member Andrew Robinson said its Dunedin services, which operate on three holidays a year, have allowed pets on board without cages since 2013.

They had no problems, he said.

''Dogs seem very adept at using buses.''


"[...] we have to be mindful of the needs and comfort of all of our customers [..]".

How can you be mindful of the needs of those who wish to travel around the city by public transport with their pet, if you won't allow the animal on the bus? We (pet owners and non pet owners alike) are being encouraged/forced into using the bus service - and then you dictate the conditions under which we can use it, as if traveling by bus wasn't inconvenient enough already.

I don't imagine everyone likes council managers either, but I'll bet they're allowed on-board!

Large European cities allow pets on public transport such a bus and train services. If we want to encourage more use of public transport why put barriers in place to prevent people using it?

Reasons: allergies, fear of dogs (large breed), carrying interesting shopping, space.

If owners accept responsibility for adverse events, maybe.