Column: Dog-friendly policy on public transport

October 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

Rob Thomas HeadshotPonsonby News – October 2013 edition – By Rob Thomas – Candidate for Waitemata & Gulf Councillor:
Dog-friendly policy on public transport

They are part of the family, loyal and sometimes referred to as “fur babies”. Across the greater Auckland region there are 85,818 dogs registered, and this adds-up to a phenomenal amount of shampooing, pet visits and dog walking.

Throughout this election I have door knocked over 6,000 homes across the inner-city and dog owners have told me their frustration with the lack of transport options. One lady mentioned the hundreds of dollars a year that she spends at the downtown carpark because her dog cannot ride on public transport to the ferry building.

The current Auckland Transport rules allow only guide dogs and guide dogs in training on buses if under supervision of their care-giver. However, for decades dogs have been allowed onto Waiheke ferries and bus services and I believe it’s time we look at extending the dog-friendly network across Auckland.

Many international cities, like San Francisco, have small dog-friendly transport policies, which say “if it’s small enough to fit on your lap it’s small enough to go on public transport”.

To make this work, there will need to be rules in place to ensure dogs are well-behaved, leashed and that people clean up any mess. Whether or not a dog can ride on a bus or train should ultimately be up to the discretion of the driver.

Pets teach children valuable life lessons like how to communicate, be empathetic, nurturing, confident and resilient to change. Dogs are an everyday part of living in Auckland and it’s time to take practice steps to have more dog-friendly transport options.

Costley Reserve Playground to be upgraded

On the final agenda of the Waitemata Local Board, the Costley Reserve playground renewal was approved in the 2013/14 local improvement budget. It has been a year and half long process but I am thrilled that this project that resident’s championed has come to fruition. After a public meeting was held at Costley Reserve on Sunday 7 April 2013, based on your feedback, the design is “getting back to basics”. The play equipment will be replaced, improved access and fixing the retaining wall at Renall Reserve. The upgrade will commence next year.

Join the celebration!

Please join me and hundreds of others as we celebrate the local government election results: 5pm Saturday, 12th October at Libertine, 37 Drake Street, Victoria Park Markets

Good luck to all the candidates.

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