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A recent survey has found that 95 percent of dog owners in Sydney want to take their beloved hounds on public transport, a wish that if granted might be the only reason to want to catch public transport in Sydney.
Over 1250 dog owners were included in the study, which was carried out by University of Sydney researchers Jennifer Kent and Corinne Mulley. Titled Riding with dogs in cars: what can it teach us about transport practices and policy?, the study found dog owners would drive less if they had the option of travelling with their pets on public transport.
It also found that an estimated 2.4 million dog-related trips in private cars occur in Sydney each week. In a city as traffic-congested as Sydney, it seems logical to try and reduce the numbers of cars on the roads.
“If dogs weren’t restricted from riding on public transport, this high number of car trips for dogs could be reduced,” Dr Kent told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The benefits would extend far beyond fewer cars on the road, by potentially getting people moving more with their dogs and socially connected,” she added.
While the benefits for pets on public transport seem obvious for dog-owners, the well-being and quality of life for the pets themselves shouldn’t be discounted either. Making it easier to access to dog-friendly parks and beaches, and a correlating increase in fitness and mental health, is one such obvious benefit for our canine companions. Furthermore, for pet-owners without cars, getting to vets and groomers can often be a difficult task.
Currently, pets are only allowed on buses, light rail and ferries in Sydney if confined in a box or carrier – which isn’t much help for dogs the size of small horses. Furthermore, the driver of the vehicle has complete discretion over whether your pet is allowed on board, regardless of how it’s carried. No animals are currently allowed on Sydney trains, apart from assistance animals.
The good news is that a spokesperson from Transport for NSW says that they are currently investigating the policies of cities where pets are permitted on public transport. City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore has also thrown her support behind a review of current public transport policies in relation to four-legged commuters.
This article first appeared on junkee.com
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