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In Switzerland, Molly and Daisy could travel by train, tram or bus with a daily ticket. They could also ride the Paris Metro with a valid ticket.
But Anne Robinson cannot board a bus with her cocker spaniels for the short hop from her home in Randwick to the beach.
"I would definitely catch public transport with my dogs if I could," Ms Robinson said.
"What I would most like to do is get to the beaches without having a car because particularly in summer it's a nightmare to park at Coogee or Clovelly or Bondi."
Ms Robinson, who does not drive, said she would also travel with Molly and Daisy on public transport to Surry Hills where there are dog-friendly pubs.
"You obviously don't want to go in the car to a pub because you're going to have a couple of drinks," she said. "But it's nice to have your dogs if you can."
Ms Robinson is not the only dog owner who supports an easing of restrictions on dogs travelling on public transport, with 95 per cent of Sydney dog owners in favour of riding trains, trams, buses and ferries with their canine companions.
The study of more than 1250 dog owners by University of Sydney researchers Jennifer Kent and Corinne Mulley estimated that about 2.4 million dog-related trips in a private car were carried out in Sydney each week.
The study, Riding with dogs in cars: what can it teach us about transport practices and policy?, also found Sydney dog owners would drive less if they had the option of travelling with their pets on public transport, providing a range of public health benefits.
"If dogs weren't restricted from riding on public transport, this high number of car trips for dogs could be reduced," Dr Kent said.
"The benefits would extend far beyond fewer cars on the road, by potentially getting people moving more with their dogs and socially connected."
Passengers may only board light rail, bus and ferry services in Sydney with an animal if it is confined in a box or carrier, and at the discretion of the bus driver or ferry master.
Animals are not allowed on Sydney Trains, with the exception of assistance animals, according to a Transport for NSW spokesman.
"Assistance animals can travel in point-to-point transport vehicles - including taxis, hire cars and rideshare - however the decision whether to carry other pets rests with individual operators," he said.
However, the spokesman said Transport for NSW is examining the policies of cities where pets are permitted on public transport.
Dog owners in New York also face similar restrictions, prompting passengers to "carry" large dogs in giant blue IKEA shopping bags, suitcases and hiking backpacks.
City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, a dog owner, said she had long urged the government to review policies surrounding the admission of animals onto public transport as well as apartments, retirement villages and rental properties.
"Getting to a vet or visiting friends and families remains difficult for pet owners without cars because pets are not allowed on trains and bus drivers have the authority to decline patrons with their pets," Ms Moore said.
"Some of my elderly constituents have not been able to visit sick relatives because they can't afford a taxi and they don't want to leave their pet home alone overnight."
Dr Kent said she travelled by car with her miniature dachshund Olive to the dog park, the vet and to Bunnings.
"All trips I could otherwise easily do on a bus that leaves from near my front door, however because I am unable to take her on the bus I need to drive," she said.
Dr Kent said restrictions on pets on buses and trains tended to be in places such as Australia and the United States with higher rates of car ownership.
In these countries, public transport is for "clean" normal trips such as travelling to work.
"But in countries where public transport is more popular, it is used for all sorts of trips - getting to the dog park, doing the shopping, going to the hardware store etc," Dr Kent said.
"We don't think about public transport like that here because we are so attached to our cars."
This article first appeared on www.dailyadvertiser.com.au
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