Montreal City Council has voted unanimously to allow leashed dogs onto the Metro by the end of 2022.
"This change in the bylaw would meet a need, while allowing the STM to build customer loyalty," said Ensemble Montreal leader Aref Salem. "For Montreal to become a truly pet-friendly city, this is the next step."
The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) currently only allows guide dogs on leashes or pets in cages on its transit system.
“Guardians of large dogs are not allowed to take the Metro and, therefore, that restricts their access to large parks, green spaces, and it also restricts access to veterinary care," pointed out Sophie Gaillard, the SPCA's legal services director.
She argues low-income dog owners are the most affected by their inability to take public transit with their pets.
“We hear from people who would like to benefit from our community programs, like our low-cost spay-neuter clinic, but they simply can't because they can't bring the dog on the Metro and get to the SPCA,” Gaillard said.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has already expressed her support for the idea of dogs on the Metro, suggesting that it should be tested out with a pilot project first.
It is now up to the STM to establish the parameters of the project, taking into account those who have health issues, such as allergies or phobias.
One of the possible suggestions is to allow dogs on the Metro only at certain times of the day or in designated cars.