Saudi pets
Those who wish to carry their pets on public transport should place them in designated boxes. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Passengers on public transport in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to bring their small pets on board, provided they are placed in designated boxes and do not pose any safety risks, the Transport General Authority has announced.

As part of a detailed mechanism outlining the rights and obligations of public transport users, the kingdom has introduced fines of up to SR500 for 55 violations.

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Among the violations are carrying items emitting unpleasant odour, perishable foods, fare evasion, failure to follow the Authority and carrier’s instructions, sleeping in prohibited areas, and not presenting a valid ticket when requested by the carrier’s crew or inspectors.

The regulations apply to users of buses, trains, metro and ships. The carrier is required to maintain a list of prohibited items, approved by the Authority, and make it available to passengers on board, at ticket sales centres, and through smart applications.

Rights of passengers with disabilities

The rights of users of transportation services, particularly those with disabilities or limited mobility are given utmost priority. Passengers with disabilities and their companions, if any, are entitled to services, including exemptions or reduced ticket prices as determined by the Transport General Authority.

Passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility can request assistance from carrier personnel or infrastructure managers for boarding or disembarking from the means of transport. The carrier is obligated to provide assistance and fulfill these requests.

To further accommodate passengers with disabilities, the carrier must allow the reservation of two adjacent seats, one for the passenger with a disability or reduced mobility and the other for an accompanying person.

Rights of passengers

The regulations also emphasise the provision of clear information to passengers about their rights, including instructions on how to submit complaints and the authorities responsible for addressing them. Such information should be readily accessible to people with disabilities and limited mobility, including on electronic platforms.

Passengers with visual impairments are permitted to bring approved service animals on board, as long as they do not pose a danger to others or disrupt the safety of the operation. In cases of refusal, the carrier must inform the passenger of any available alternative services that meet their needs.

The regulations also address situations such as a passenger’s death or medical emergency during a journey. The carrier must request assistance, support emergency services teams, take necessary measures for on-board rescue, and safeguard the passenger’s luggage and belongings until they can be delivered to their family or the authorities.

These regulations aim to ensure a safe, comfortable, and inclusive public transportation experience for all passengers in Saudi Arabia.