On Saturday, the Montreal metro opened its doors to users accompanied by their four-legged best friend – under certain conditions. The Press went to meet them.
Posted at 10:13 a.m.
Updated at 4:18 p.m.
Mylinh Trinh is taking advantage of the weekend to get her one-year-old goldendoodle used to the excitement of the underground network of the Société de transports de Montréal (STM). She left her home in Laval with Oshi for a round trip on the orange line on Saturday.
“I really brought him to stimulate him, to see the world passing by, the metro, the noises,” she explains, all smiles. “During the summer, I really wanted to take her to Montreal, but I didn’t feel like driving,” adds the young woman, referring to the difficulty of finding parking there. “I’m taking the opportunity to get used to it now, then in the summer I’ll bring it more often. »
Dogs are allowed on the metro Monday to Friday, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m. as well as all day Saturday, Sunday and public holidays — the same schedule as for bicycles.
Wearing a muzzle is compulsory, and dogs must be kept on a leash. Only one dog per customer is allowed. If they are allowed in the metro, they remain excluded from the buses. The Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke station is also “excluded from the pilot project for the moment”, indicates the STM.
So far, “it’s going really well,” says Mme Trinh enthusiastically. “In the subway, he lies down on the ground or he sits next to me, he doesn’t bother anyone,” she continues. “Of course he tends to go and smell people to find out who he is, but otherwise it’s going great. »
In addition to this initiatory walk, she says that she prepared Oshi to follow the rules. “When I learned that we were allowed dogs in the metro with a muzzle, I got him used to the dog park with the muzzle”, explains the mistress, far-sighted.
The 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 have signed the document.
However, canines are rare in the metro on this first day of authorized entry. We only see two dogs on the platforms in the early afternoon at the Berri-UQAM station.
The other users interviewed by The Press are not overly formalized by their presence. “Personally, I don’t mind,” says Cynthia Calderon, adding that she had dogs in the past. “If they’re attached well, that’s okay. »
Alois Mathe agrees. This French newcomer doesn’t have a dog, but his roommate does. “It’s practical, if he wants to take the metro with it,” he observes.
With this nine-month pilot project, the STM 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, it will base itself on the safety of customers and employees, the cleanliness of the facilities, maintenance needs and the appreciation of the experience by users to make its final choice.
On its website, the SPCA has set up a question-and-answer section to answer the questions of owners who would like more details before going directly to the metro with their animal.
Dogs on a leash are allowed in many other metro systems around the world, including those in Paris, London, Calgary and Toronto, always under certain conditions.
With The Canadian Press