The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has launched its pilot project on Saturday which now allows dogs to travel on board metro trains under certain conditions.
Dog owners can now enter the metro with their animal for the next nine months — the duration of the pilot project — but only outside peak hours on weekdays, weekends and public holidays.
The STM requires that dogs wear a muzzle throughout the trip, in addition to being kept on a leash. Owners should also make sure to pick up and clean up any mess their pet may leave and prevent their dog from climbing onto the seats and benches.
With this project, the STM says it 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, the transit agency says it will base its decision on the safety of customers and employees, the cleanliness of the facilities, maintenance needs and the appreciation of the experience by users.
Before the pilot project came into effect on Saturday, pets were allowed on buses and the metro only if they were in a cage or in a carrier bag. Since the pilot project only applies to the metro, this rule still applies to buses.
This initiative, announced last month, was implemented in partnership with the Montreal SPCA, which circulated a petition to encourage the STM to accept dogs. More than 18,000 people had signed the document.
On its website, the SPCA has also set up a question and answer section to answer questions from owners who would like more details before going directly on to the metro with their dog.
Dogs on a leash are authorized in several metro systems around the world, including in Paris, London, Calgary and Toronto, always under certain conditions.