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Park City Transit Test Runs Allowing Dogs On Buses For Halloween Event

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KPCW Radio
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Park City Transit plans to remove one frequently mentioned barrier to riding the bus in pet-friendly Park City. 

After much feedback from the public, Park City Transportation Director Alfred Knotts says Park City community members and their dogs will be able to hop on the bus together—on the spookiest day of the year.

“We're very excited about it because the element of the dog parade in Halloween or Howl-o-ween during that time," Knotts said. "It's important to be able to get our locals on the bus, and Halloween is considered a very local event, so we looked to remove that barrier and allow people to bring the dogs on the buses.”

Knotts says Halloween will serve as a one-day test run to inform possible future policy allowing dogs on buses other times of year, such as spring and summer, when the buses aren’t overloaded with skiers and their equipment. For the pilot program, he says dogs will need to be well-behaved, on leash and they won’t be allowed on seats.

Knotts says Park City Transit doesn’t currently allow dogs on buses, except service dogs, because it’s a liability issue.

“We've had some concerns from people in the public that are allergic to dogs and things like that, and even people that are just really apprehensive around dogs, too," Knotts said. "Being in a tourist town, there's just a different market there, that people may not expect to see that on a bus. So, I think we can work towards a policy, potentially, for certain times of year.”

The Howl-o-ween parade draws hundreds of dogs—and their owners—to Park City Main Street each year. Knotts says he’s not worried about overwhelming the transit system and ruining the chances of continuing to allow dogs on buses. He says they chose Halloween to encourage more people to take transit to the big event.

“In this event, specifically, that is a barrier to some people being able to ride the bus to the event, so that's why we selected this event,” Knotts said.

Knotts says Park City Transit will provide more information for dog owners as Halloween nears.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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