Feb 1, 2013 8:18 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

City can't stop people from bringing dogs on city buses

It was a rough ride for some, when a man and his dog boarded a San Luis Obispo city bus yesterday.

The incident put a few passengers on edge. So we went to find out if animals are allowed on city buses.

According to city transit managers, if it's a pet it's not allowed but, if it's a service animal it is.

However, sometimes it's tough to tell which is which leaving bus drivers and passengers in a sticky situation.

"We made ten stops before that man got off that bus," said frequent rider Dan Senser.

"The man came on and he went all the way back and sat down with his pitt bull," said Senser, "Everyone was nervous and nobody came back here and sat next to that dog."

Senser was so disturbed he snapped a picture of the pooch and sent it to KSBY.

The owner claimed it was a service dog when questioned by the driver. Something Senser just doesn't buy.

"For transit operators they're pretty much limited on what they can ask," said John Webster, transit manager for the city of San Luis Obispo.

Webster says due to ADA regulations, drivers can only ask if it is a service dog and what type of service it provides. He says from there it's a judgment call, so I showed him the picture and asked if the right call was made.

"Again it's pretty clear cut," said Webster, "If the owner says it's a service animal, and it's not causing a problem, their hands are pretty much tied whether it's service animal or not."

People with service animals are not required to carry proof. That creates a complicated situation and many bus drivers are left uncomfortable questioning it for fear of an ADA lawsuit.



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