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service animals

From Mobility to Emergencies: Public Transit's Role

Transit’s role as a public service is much more than driving millions of riders — many of whom have no other transportation option — every day. Mass transit authorities can often be called upon to assist during an emergency event.

Therapy Dogs are 'Well-Prepared' Passengers on Transit

Seeing a canine passenger on mass transit is not uncommon, but the reasons why a dog might catch the train or hop a bus are varied (remember Eclipse, the Seattle Lab mix that uses the bus, often on her own, to get to the dog park?). Most public transit pooches are working —as K-9 officers or service animals. In the Philadelphia region, other animals — in approved carriers only—are permitted to ride the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s buses, trains and trolleys. However, a new pilot program underway by SEPTA allows registered therapy dogs volunteering at two Philadelphia hospitals to use two designated bus routes to travel to their sites.

Calif.’s OCTA partners for service animal training

Working with Knott’s Berry Farm to help service animals and handlers get accustomed to navigating public buses. Handlers and service animals will have access to enter the theme park in order to train around large groups of people and various unfamiliar sights and sounds.

Training is for the dogs

For more than 15 years, OCTA has organized an annual training day for service animals and their handlers, allowing them the chance to ride the bus in a controlled environment. This year’s training took place on a recent Saturday at a nearby theme park and provided an opportunity for the animals to become acclimated to situations that are often crowded, loud and unfamiliar.