Australians are real animal lovers, with 60% of households owning some kind of pet. But our fondness for furry friends apparently isn’t supported by public transport policy.
A study by Sydney University’s Dr Jennifer Kent finds pet owners who don’t own a car wish they could take their pets on public transport. The study finds 95% of dog owners were in favour of easing restrictions around taking their canine companions on trains, buses, trams, and ferries.
“From a health perspective, dog ownership’s been linked to decreased cardiovascular disease and decreased incidence of depression”, Jennifer told The Conversation.
“Dogs also contribute to the fabric of society. If you’ve ever been out and met someone walking a dog, you otherwise might not have given them the time of day, but because they have a dog it sparks an interaction.”
The study also finds people would drive less if they had the option of taking their pets on public transport – something we’re definitely on board with! At GoGet, we try to help by offering pet friendly cars, with covers for the back seat.
“I’m particularly interested in ways we can reduce private car ownership. If we’re asking people to move away from owning their own private car and driving it, we need to start looking at some of the things they are doing with their cars”, Jennifer said.
Right now, Sydney bus, light rail, and ferry services require animals to travel in a box or carrier, but they’re not allowed on trains. Other cities have similar restrictions, like in Melbourne where dogs need to be muzzled and leashed on trains, or in a box or carrier on other forms of transport.
“If people are taking dogs any further away than a walk from home, it’s impossible to use anything but a car”, Jennifer says.
Many are now using Jennifer’s research to argue for relaxing the rules around pets on public transport. But in the meantime, we can help you and your pets get around without owning a car.
GoGet has lots of pet friendly cars to cater for Sir Bark-a-Lot and Miss Meow. Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a regular check up at the vet, our member’s pets can get around hassle-free!