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Montreal Metro to welcome dogs on board starting Oct. 15

Dogs entering the Montreal Metro must be leashed, muzzled and can only do so during off peak hours. The Associated Press file photo

Montreal’s underground public transit system has gone to the dogs.

Canine companions will be permitted on the Metro starting Oct. 15 as part of a new pilot project, the city’s transit authority (STM) announced Wednesday. The animals are still not allowed on buses, however.

There are several rules in place for anyone who plans to bring their pup with them. They do ride free of charge, though.

Dogs can only be on board during off-peak hours and they must be leashed. They can enter the Metro from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then again after 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday. They are also allowed to ride the subway on weekends and holidays.

Read more: Saint-Leonard lets the dogs out with pilot project allowing leashed dogs in parks

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Commuters must muzzle their furry friend as soon as they enter any station. They must also keep a “firm grip” on the leash, keeping the dog with 1.25 metres.

Under the pilot project, the STM says only one dog can accompany each public transit user. Dogs are not allowed to sit on the seats or benches on either the Metro or station platforms.

Montreal Metro users who plan to take their pet with them must also avoid using the first car on any train, since it’s usually reserved for commuters with mobility issues, cyclists and other groups.

Among the rules, dogs are banned from escalators and are only permitted on elevators if there is enough room.

Read more: Mixed reaction from rescue groups as Canada bans commercial dogs from high-risk rabies countries

The STM says pet owners should also be aware that some Metro station entrances are in privately-owned buildings, which may not allow dogs, so it’s best to check ahead of time if that entrance can be used. Private businesses and services inside Metro stations also have the right to prohibit dogs.

The Montreal SPCA applauded the move on social media, saying Montreal will be among other cities — such as Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona, Calgary and Toronto — that welcome pups on public transit. The organization had launched a campaign to allow dogs on the Metro, garnering nearly 18,000 signatures as part of a petition.

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