Staff Report #1
September 13, 2022
To All Members of the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee
Re: Policy Re: Pets on Transit
That members of the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee provide feedback with respect to the potential impacts of allowing pets on public transit services which will be included in a future Commission report.
At the August 31, 2022 meeting, the Commission directed administration to report back on the issues and implications of allowing pets on public transit in response to a delegation (see Enclosure I).
The current policy with respect to pets and service animals is set out below noting it is considered to be in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act legislation.
London Transit Commission Service Animal Policy
Pets are not permitted on-board LTC buses.
Service animals are permitted on buses if working in aid of the person making the trip.
Service animals on buses must remain in the care and control of the owner at all times. The owner must be prepared to demonstrate to the Operator how this requirement will be achieved. (i.e. leash, cage, etc.)
This applies as follows:
- the animal can be readily identified as one that is being used by the person for reasons relating to the person’s disability, as a result of visual indicators such as the vest or harness worn by the animal; or
- the customer provides documentation from a health professional confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
The underlined section of the policy above was added in 2019 in response to concerns experienced with support animals onboard buses who were roaming freely and causing safety concerns for both riders and bus operators.
The review undertaken by administration will include an industry scan of best practices, as well as the identification of any issues that have arisen in transit systems that do allow pets and what mitigation measures they have implemented to limit same. In addition, feedback from transit riders and past issues experienced at LTC with respect to the current Service Animal Policy will be reviewed.
Another key input with respect to any potential changes to this policy is the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee. Committee members will be asked to discuss any concerns they may have with respect to broadening the current policy to consider allowing pets on board transit. It should be noted that any changes to this policy going forward would apply on both the conventional and specialized services as required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act as well as the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Subsequent to gathering and reviewing all relevant information, administration will provide a report with recommendations to the Commission.
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager