OC Transpo making it easier for people with guide dogs to travel on public transit
This bus will find its new home at CNIB’s Canine Campus, which is a 158-acre rural property and the national training facility for CNIB Guide Dogs. Pictured are left to right: Miriam Mas (CNIB), OC Transpo Accessibility Specialist, Kathy Riley, OC Transpo General Manager, Renée Amilcar, Ben Francis (CNIB) and Shona Kemp (CNIB).
A decommissioned OC Transpo bus is on its way to CNIB’s Canine Campus in Carleton Place, creating a new life and purpose for a bus that once transported thousands of customers across Ottawa. After many years in service, this bus will now help CNIB Guide Dog Trainers enable future guide dogs to learn the procedures for boarding, traveling, and exiting public transit.
“The Canine Campus is a state-of-the-art guide dog training centre where our dogs learn the skills they need to become partners in mobility for people who are blind or partially sighted. The decommissioned OC Transpo bus will help us to maximize our training – setting up our guide dog partnerships for success by providing a safe space for guide dogs to learn the rudiments of day-to-day safe travel with their handler," said Kristen Black, Director, Operations and Business Development, CNIB Guide Dogs.
OC Transpo’s Accessibility Specialist Kathy Riley says the bus will go a long way in helping to help train future guide dogs, including working safely with their handlers.
“It’s about inclusivity. It will provide a calm and familiar opportunity before they get on a real bus,” said Kathy, who has also been a Guide Dog walker in the past.
The City is committed to providing transit services that are accessible to everyone. For more information on accessibility and how to use OC Transpo’s services with a service animal, please visit octranspo.com.