On Saturday, the Montreal metro opened its doors to users accompanied by their four-legged best friend – under certain conditions. The press went to meet them.
Posted at 10:13 am
Updated at 16.18.
Mylinh Trinh is using the weekend to get her one-year-old goldendoodle used to the excitement of the underground network of the Société de transports de Montréal (STM). She left her home in Laval with Oshi for a tour of the Orange Line on Saturday.
“I really took him to stimulate him, to see the world go by, the subway, the sounds,” she explains with a smile. “During the summer, I really wanted to take her to Montreal, but I didn’t feel like driving,” adds the young woman, referring to the difficulty of finding parking there. “I’m taking the opportunity to get used to it now, then I’ll take it more often in the summer. »
Dogs are allowed on the metro Monday to Friday, between 10.00 and 15.00 and after 19.00 and all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays – same schedule as for bicycles.
It is compulsory to wear a muzzle and dogs must be kept on a lead. Only one dog per customer is allowed. If they are allowed on the subway, they will remain excluded from the buses. The Longueuil-Université-de-Sherbrooke station is also “excluded from the pilot project for the time being”, the STM states.
So far, “it’s going really well,” says Mme Trinh enthusiastically. “In the subway, he lies down on the ground or he sits next to me, he doesn’t bother anyone,” she continues. “Of course he usually goes and smells people to find out who he is, but otherwise it’s going great. »
Beyond this initial walk, she says she prepared Oshi to follow the rules. “When I was told that we were allowed to have muzzled dogs on the subway, I got him used to the muzzled dog park,” the mistress explains with foresight.
The initiative, announced last month, was implemented in partnership with the Montreal SPCA, which circulated a petition to encourage STM to accept dogs. More than 18,000 people have signed the document.
However, canines are rare in the subway on this first day of authorized access. We see only two dogs on the platforms in the early afternoon at the Berri-UQAM station.
The other users asked by The press not be overly formalized by their presence. “Personally, I don’t mind,” says Cynthia Calderon, adding that she used to have dogs. “If they are well attached, it’s ok. »
Alois Mathe agrees. This French newcomer doesn’t have a dog, but his roommate does. “It’s practical if he wants to take the subway with him,” he notes.
With this nine-month pilot project, the STM hopes to verify the impact of the arrival of dogs in the metro before making a final decision on the matter. When the time comes, it will base itself on the safety of customers and employees, the cleanliness of the facilities, maintenance needs and appreciation of the users’ experience in making its final choice.
The SPCA has set up a question-and-answer section on its website to answer questions from owners who want more details before heading straight to the Metro with their animal.
Dogs on leashes are allowed in many other metro systems around the world, including those in Paris, London, Calgary and Toronto, always under certain conditions.
With the Canadian Press