Recently, a bus conductor in Beijing told a woman she could not board the transit vehicle because of her guide dog, saying "pet dogs are not allowed to board a bus."
After she explained to the conductor that hers is a guide dog, and other passengers spoke up for her, the woman was finally allowed to get on the bus.
It's reported that the conductor involved has been suspended. The woman has asked the bus company for a statement on whether guide dogs are allowed on buses.
"As there are few guide dogs in Beijing now, we do not pay much attention to it. It's our faults this time," explained a staff member of the second passenger transport branch of Beijing Public Transport Corporation (BPTC).
In fact, Beijing has no clear regulations referring to guide dogs taking a bus. The Regulations of Beijing Municipality on Animal Epidemic Prevention, put into effect in 2014, bans live poultry and livestock from taking public transit, with working dogs free of limitations.
Further, the Beijing Rail Transit Operation Safety Regulation allows visually impaired people to take rail transit with guide dogs after showing their certificates of visual disability and guide dog licenses. But regulations related to buses remain uncertain.
In response, Zhang Fushun a senior officer of BPTC said that unlike taking a subway or a plane there is not enough time for a bus conductor to check each passenger's certification or license, which might affect other passengers.
Also, some passengers do not agree that guide dogs should board a bus because they are concerned for safety, reports The Beijing News.
As reported, there are almost 50,000 visually disabled people in Beijing, but only around 20 guide dogs. The ratio is far behind the international rate.
Across China, the number of guide dogs is only 118, because of the long period for training and high training cost, according to The Beijing News.