The story of a bus driver who attempted to stop a guide dog from getting on to his vehicle last week has been shared thousands of times on social media.
Inti, a visually-impaired woman, was told she could not bring her dog, Nana, on to a New World First Bus in Fortress Hill last Friday. The driver said the dog would scare other passengers, according to Inti’s sister, who was with them at the time and shared the story on Facebook.
“The driver repeated this and stood up in his cab, saying: “Dogs cannot board, it cannot board, the other passengers will be scared,” Inti’s sister wrote.
Despite being reminded by another passenger that guide dogs are allowed on buses, the driver stuck by his opinion. However, he did not physically prevent the group from boarding. When questioned by Inti’s husband after the group got off in Hung Hom, the driver repeated his statement that “dogs are not allowed on the bus”, Inti’s sister said.
Trained guide dogs are legally allowed in public places including on public transportation. Anyone who stops guide dogs from entering public places risks violating the Disability Discrimination Ordinance.
HKFP has reached out to NWFB for comment.
Update at 11am: A spokesperson for NWFB told HKFP they are aware of the incident and have launched an internal investigation: “According to Public Bus Services Regulations, drivers should not allow animals on buses. However, guide dogs accompanying blind people are exempted.” The spokesperson said NWFB has always paid attention to the needs of passengers with disabilities and has trained drivers to take care of these passengers.