New Taipei launches new pet-friendly buses amid growing number of ‘fur babies’

Statistics suggest domestic pets will soon outnumber children in Taiwan

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(New Taipei City Transportation Department photo)

(New Taipei City Transportation Department photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In addition to the three existing pet-friendly bus lines — No. 604, 225, and 669 — the New Taipei City Department of Transportation on Thursday (Oct. 10) opened seven more such routes running through three pet parks: Yonghe Emerald Pet Park, Zhonghe No. 4 Pet Park, and Xinzhuang Sports Park.

According to Huang Zhong-ping (黃仲平), head of the Transportation Department's Transportation Management Sector, "We held a charity run at Yonghe Emerald Pet Park in April of this year. At that time, we coordinated with the bus operators so that the two routes passing through the park could relax their pet carry-on policy, which was well-received by the public."

Huang also noted that the new bus routes will be adjusted afterward, depending on the conditions on board, reported the Liberty Times.

Unlike ordinary buses, which only allow pets to be brought on board in carriers, pet-friendly buses can be recognized by their LED lights and signs reading "pet bus." Dogs and cats are allowed on the vehicles as long as they are leashed, and pet owners are responsible for cleaning up after their animals.

With the number of children under 15 decreasing by 4 percent annually and domestic cats and dogs on the increase, Flotrend Corporation predicts that by 2020, domestic animals will outnumber children in Taiwan, a phenomenon that has already occurred in Japan in 2003. More pet-friendly measures are being implemented with the hope that New Taipei can become the epitome of a pet-friendly city, said Li Wen (李玟), head of the city's Agriculture Department.

For more information, please refer to New Taipei's Transportation Department website.