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Dogs on the Bus

CommentaryFrom The Blog Quixotic: Dog on Bus Complaint Follow-up

My friend complained to Sound Transit about this The answer follows. (names changed)

Letter


Mr. Bobkin,

I apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail and for the inconvenience you have experienced on Sound Transit services.

As a person with disabilities who has a fully trained and certified service animal, I completely understand your frustrations. I experience that same thing almost daily in in different venues. You are correct there is a significant amount of fraud in this area with people claim their dogs are service animals when they are not. Unfortunately that is due to the way that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Federal Transit Administrations regulations implementing the ADA are written. Under those Federal guidelines, we are required to allow access to our services for people with service animals. We are permitted to ask a person if the animal is a service animal. If the answer is yes, the only other thing we are allowed to ask is what tasks the animal has been trained to perform for the handler. We are not permitted to ask for, nor is the handler required to produce, proof of training or certification. This has become widely known and many people take advantage of it.

We are not permitted to require any type of documents or place additional restrictions on the use of service animals such as the [special service animal bus pass] you mention.That being said, the handler of a service animal is required to have the animal under their control at all times. The animal may not be aggressive towards other people or animals, bark, sniff at, or lick people. If the handler does not exert this control over the animal we are permitted to ask them to remove the animal from our vehicles.

If you experience this again, I encourage you to mention it to the operator. They have many other things to monitor while driving and may not be aware that the animal is causing problems. As mentioned before, the routes in question are operated for Sound Transit by Community Transit. You may direct comments to them at: [contact address]

Also, please feel free to contact us again if you continue to have difficulties with this issue.

–Jefferson Dolby
[Customer Service Type Person]


 

Woof

The dogs on the bus go Woof! Woof! Woof!

 

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