Wellington petition calls for pups on public transport

Dog driving bus on public transport (Getty)
Currently, public transport operators are only required to allow certified disability assist dogs on board (Getty / file)

Wellington is a fairly dog-friendly city, with a number of public and private areas allowing residents to bring their pooches.

Student Belinda Croft is trying to take that to the next level.

She's petitioning Greater Wellington Regional Council to allow dogs on public transport, such as buses and trains, as she says it can get difficult to actually get to dog-friendly events.

"It made me think, why not dogs on the bus? If they're well-behaved and well-mannered, then why not?" she told Newshub.

"I know that the issue has come up quite a bit, but it's all just being pushed under the rug."

Her plan to see pups on public transport would include splitting it into two separate divisions - one with pets allowed and one where pets aren't allowed, so that those who are allergic or just don't like dogs don't have to be around them.

Belinda Croft and her two dogs (supplied)
Belinda Croft and her two dogs (supplied)

Some of the ideas Ms Croft has come up with come from overseas, such as in the UK, which dogs can be allowed on public transport if they're leashed or being carried in a bag. Or if they take up a seat, they pay their own fare.

Ms Croft's idea would also see dogs behaviour-tested before they're even allowed on board and registered similar to the council's Responsible Dog Ownership programme, which allows for cheaper annual registration.

"A lot of the comments I've been receiving are, 'What about a dog that's been yapping or barking', or a lot of people think that a dog is just going to attack them on a bus," she said.

"I think dogs should have to pass... a training class and proven to be well-behaved in social situations.

"So there's no fear really from the public, because people will know the dog's been approved by the Council to actually be on that bus or train."

Ms Croft's petition has gained around 550 supporters so far, who agree the pups should be given a chance.

"Coming from Europe, where most countries allow dogs on public transport, I know this can be achieved and integrated to bus and train services successfully," supporter Lara Jonas wrote.

"It would be such a positive change for all the dog owners, that currently are highly restricted. In turn it would increase the numbers of people using public transport, cutting down on car usage, decreasing traffic and pollution issues."

Northland resident Emma Robertson agreed.

"I would love to take my lovely, well-behaved dog on public transport in Wellington," she wrote.

Currently, public transport operators are only required to allow certified disability assist dogs on board.