Wellingtonians will be making their morning commute with some four-legged, furry friends come mid-July. The recent decision to allow domestic pets on public transport was passed by the Greater Wellington Regional Council's sustainable transport committee in a bid to 'normalise' the use of public transport and to follow in the footsteps of many other cities around the world.
Pet owners around the Wellington region will be welcome to bring their cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits and even baby goats onto train, bus and ferry services in off-peak hours by the middle of July.
With petitions, numerous requests and the rise of pet-friendly work environments, this new strategy couldn't have come at a better time.
So, does this mean that we'll be seeing kitties with their own little snapper cards or puppers with pockets full of bus change? As adorable as it would be unfortunately not; regular fares will apply for passengers accompanied by their furry little family members. However, people wishing to travel with their pets will be under strict conditions.
Pets must be contained in a suitable carrier which must be stored securely in luggage spaces or on the passengers lap.
Travellers with pets will be responsible for the animal's safety as well as the safety of other passengers. Pets must be kept under control at all times.
Passengers with pets may be refused entry or asked to leave if the service is crowded or the animal is likely to casye a safety risk, or nuisance in the eyes of the service provider.
Pets will be allowed on off-peak services (visit metlink.org.nz for information).
Disability assistance dogs will still be allowed to travel on all public transport without a cage, provided they are seated on the floor.
The new rules will first take effect in Wairarapa on the rail fleet on April 30. Hutt Valley buses will introduce the policy on June 17 and Kapati, Porirua and Wellington transport services will welcome travelling pets from July 15.