SPAD says guide dogs can ride on public transport

Chan and his guide dog Lashawn were refused a ride by several taxi drivers who insisted animals were not allowed in their vehicles. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Chan and his guide dog Lashawn were refused a ride by several taxi drivers who insisted animals were not allowed in their vehicles. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PETALING JAYA, May 28 — Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar has said there should not be a problem with allowing guide dogs to assist the disabled in using public transportation, as well as in public places.

“Guide dogs are a necessity for the blind. Therefore, they should not pose a problem,” he said.

“It’s only a question of getting the public to get used to it.”

KTM Berhad corporate communications manager Siti Badariah Wan Hanafi said although KTM did not allow any type of animal to go on board its trains, it would adhere to SPAD’s guidelines, should the commission allow guide dogs.

“We will stick to what SPAD says as they are the regulators and policy-makers in this industry,” she said.

On the other hand, RapidKL said it was unlikely it would allow guide dogs on its services.

A RapidKL spokesman said having an animal on board its rail or bus services might cause uneasiness or anxiety among its passengers “regardless of whether the animal was trained or not”.

“We need to consider the potential reactions of 800,000 daily passengers,” said the spokesman.

He said not allowing passengers to bring animals on board its services was in line with its conditions of carriage, established in 1996.

“It is unlikely we will revise the conditions, as they were based on our licence issued by the minister of transport in line with the Train Act 1991 and the Train Regulations (Passenger and Person’s Behaviours) Act 1996,” he said.

Malay Mail previously reported that a blind man and his guide dog were refused a ride by several taxi drivers who insisted animals were not allowed in their vehicles.

The blind man, Stevens Chan, had brought the guide dog, Lashawn, from Nanjing, China, where it had been trained as a service dog at the local police academy.

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