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GO Transit allowing dogs onboard until October

Looks like your pups will now be allowed on the GO trains and buses for a trial period after a petition surfaced asking to allow dogs onboard.

A petition was published calling for 30,000 signatures in support of allowing dogs to ride on Go Transit. Technically dogs are allowed on GO Transit, which the petition acknowledged, but only if they’re in crates or licensed service dogs. GO Transit specified previously how the reason for this was to ensure the safety of its customers and for liability reasons.

“This policy does not serve GO customers and is short sighted. Crating a dog is unrealistic because some dogs may be too large to crate in portable crates and are too heavy and owners will struggle to carry them or if they are crated, there is no place to store the crate when the owner arrives at their destination,” the petition stated. “Leashed dogs are allowed to travel on the TTC, allowing dog owners to travel within the city without a car. With the growth of the GTA and excessive traffic congestion, GO Transit customers need to be able to move across the city and into surrounding communities without using a car.”

The petition went on to suggest that GO Transit could designate several cars as being “dog free” while having the rest of the train accessible to dog owners.

To date, the petition received 25,483 signatures.

Metrolinx has since updated their policy to allow for dogs to travel on GO Transit. Their updated policies state that from July 20 – October 15 people will now be allowed to bring a maximum of two leashed dogs on weekdays and holidays between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. They will also be allowed to ride from 6:30 p.m. until the end of service. Outside of those hours, Metrolinx asks that dog owners revert back to the old policy of having dogs that can fit in your lap or that can be placed in crates.

Additional rules state that patrons and their dogs need to be seated on the lower levels of trains and buses, they would obviously need to pick up after their pet and ensure that any dog is kept close by without causing any disturbances for others.

“We aren’t making any changes to our service animal policy. Service animals are welcome on board with their owners all day, every day, and must wear a vest and have identification from an accredited training organization,” the statement read. “Throughout the pilot, we’ll collect and monitor feedback from customers and staff to help guide our future plans. […] We’ll let you know if we make any permanent changes to our policy about travelling with your pets.”

Though nothing is permanent, you’ll be able to participate in GO Transit’s trial period starting this Friday.