ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Starting Friday, passengers can now bring dogs and cats on Albuquerque city buses.
The pilot program was enacted to help people who rely on the bus and their pets. It’s a rule change many passengers say is long overdue.
“People have actually been already doing it. I actually think it’s a great idea,” said Passenger Andres Arciniega.
The cats and dogs are welcome as long as dogs are leashed and cats are in carriers.
“I believe it’s a perfect idea. I don’t see anybody riding a bike with their dog on the back,” said Passenger Angel Miyamoto.
“My mother, she’s disabled, she has a little dog named Lucky and she loves that thing to death. I think it would be good for her to get out, especially with her companion,” said Passenger Nicholas Spence.
Previously only service animals were allowed on board. Pets can now ride during non-peak hours. ABQ Ride says it wasn’t a practical option during rush hour.
“During those peak commuter hours, people getting to work and then in the afternoon going home, there’s probably likely not gonna to be room for the cat or dog,” said ABQ Ride Marketing Manager Vanessa Baca.
ABQ Ride says passengers will have to clean up after their pets and drivers can stop one from getting on board if they raise a red flag.
Baca said, “If the animal appears to be threatening or if it’s just not a clean animal.”
But some passengers say animals are the least of their concerns, usually people are the ones fighting like cats and dogs.
“As a matter of fact, the pets behave a lot more better than a lot of people I see on the bus and that’s just a personal opinion, it’s sad but true,” said Miyamoto.
Although this change just started, a passenger told KRQE News 13 there’s already been a problem. That woman claims she was on a bus Friday morning when an argument broke out, after a passenger stepped on a dog’s foot.
The animals will be allowed to ride through the end of this year. At that point, ABQ Ride will decide if the rule change will become permanent.