Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dogs on the bus?

Mountain Rides wants your opinion


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Mountain Rides Transportation Authority is seeking public input on whether dogs should be allowed on its buses.

"It is a dog town, so we definitely hear it from time to time," said Mountain Rides Executive Director Jason Miller. "It could cause some interesting challenges for us."

Mountain Rides is seeking public input on its services in a ridership survey available at www.mountainrides.org. The question about dogs doesn't ask whether survey respondents are favorable to the idea, but is only designed to gauge the degree to which it would affect their decisions. "Definitely, probably, maybe or wouldn't influence me" are the only response options available.

Miller reported that as of Monday, 55 percent of respondents had indicated that dogs on the bus would have no influence on their decisions. However, eight respondents wrote in the comment section of the survey that they would stop riding altogether if dogs were allowed.

Currently, the only animals allowed on Mountain Rides buses are certified service dogs for blind or otherwise disabled people, or animals confined in small, hand-held carriers.

Miller said Mountain Rides at this point doesn't plan on changing its policy, but added the dog question to the survey because of public suggestions that dogs should be allowed.

"The whole point of the survey is to get input on a lot of issues," Miller said. "Allowing dogs is one of those considerations that might get someone to ride or not to ride."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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