A bus driver refused to let a blind woman board with her guide dog, sparking an hours-long standoff involving police and other passengers.
Louise Pearson and her seeing-eye dog Arthur tried to get on a bus at Greensborough, in Melbourne’s northeast, on Tuesday morning when the driver told her ‘no dogs on the bus’.
‘I have a golden Labrador guide dog called Arthur, and I stepped onto the bus and said ‘this is a guide dog’,’ she explained to 3AW.
A passenger intervened and told the driver that Ms. Pearson regularly travels the route on her way to work with Arthur, but he still didn’t budge.
‘We’ve been sitting here for the last 50 minutes because he says it’s not a guide dog,’ Ms. Pearson said on air.
After a one-hour standoff with Ms. Pearson and her dog, the bus driver called the police.
Officers offered to drive her to work, but she refused, taking a stand against the driver.
‘That’s not how you win a fight,’ she said.
The driver eventually caved under pressure from the passengers and let Ms. Pearson and Arthur on the bus.
‘I can’t believe in this day and age that we have this sort of nonsense going on,’ she said.
‘I’m totally blind. I’m just trying to go to work!’
Guide dogs are legally permitted to travel on all public transport under Victorian law.
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