Tighter cooperation: Trips With Guide Dogs Onboard Public Transport Vehicles

Budapest, 28 January 2021 - BKK intensifies its cooperation with the Hungarian Therapy and Assistant Dog Association (MATESZE) in order that passengers with guide dogs could use Budapest’s public transport services even more smoothly. It is of paramount importance that besides vehicle drivers and BKK’s colleagues, fellow passengers pay particular attention to passengers using BKK’s lines with guide dogs.

In the beginning of January, 2021, the Hungarian Therapy and Assistant Dog Association provided such samples of their certificate to BKK Centre for Budapest Transport, with the help of which BKK’s staff is able to identify passengers with guide dogs more easily.

Many people are unaware of the fact that apart from guide dogs for visually-impaired persons, therapy dogs, guide dogs for persons with hearing impairment and also for physical impairment, seizure response dogs and assistant dogs help their owner to a great extent to live more independently and safely. These dogs with different breeds and sizes, even miniature poodles are entitled to the same rights in Budapest’s public transport, as guide dogs, typically labradors and golden retrievers trained to help persons with visual-impairment. Pets can be identified, by typically wearing a harness or a scarf, on which the logo of the training organisation is represented.

The photo ID containing the data of the owner along with the guide dog entitles the dog to free travel without the requirement to wear a muzzle and exempts its owner from the restriction specified for pets carried in a vehicle. As in the case of guide dogs, they are not aggressive with their indifferent dog breeds. Passengers can help their transport if they give up on or do not occupy priority seats and do not pet or call the dog by its name, in order that they should not distract the dog’s attention, so as not to endanger safety of the dog’s owner.

Staff of MATESZE and BKK have agreed upon the fact that BKK’s ticket inspectors will participate also in sensitization trainings in the future focusing on guide dogs for persons with visual-impairment, in the framework of which, ticket inspectors will have the chance to learn about the difficulties persons with visual impairment face on an everyday basis while getting around and how the dog helps the owner find his/her place onboard the vehicle and how persons with visual impairment feel when getting onboard a vehicle. One of BKK’s primary goals is to promote accessibility in Budapest’s public transport. In the framework of its realisation, ticket inspectors already participated in a similar sensitization training in 2018.

The Hungarian Therapy and Assistant Dog Association (MATESZE) was founded in 2006 with the objective to bring together as an umbrella organisation representing professional interests such civil initiatives, which deal with the training of guide dogs as well as help dogs find and adjust to their new owner. Training of guide dogs may take years and cost million HUF, depending on the skills the guide dogs must acquire.

BKK Centre for Budapest Transport