Bus Service Goes to the Dogs – Guide Dog Training on Tri Delta Transit

The Eastern Contra Costa County Transit Authority (Tri Delta Transit) recently gave rides to more than a dozen furry-footed passengers learning to ride the bus. One by one, a procession of soon-to-be Guide Dogs boarded a 40-foot long Tri Delta Transit bus, to acclimate to a new surrounding. With tails eagerly wagging, they boarded ready for a new adventure. By the end of the trip, a valuable lesson was learned.

For several years, Tri Delta Transit CEO, Jeanne Krieg has opened her bus doors to assist Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc. “For years, this is a relationship we’ve fostered and something all of our staff embrace,” said Krieg. “Our drivers enthusiastically volunteer to drive the bus for this event and we usually have staff stick around to watch the dogs in action. We look forward to assisting Guide Dogs for the Blind for a long time to come.”

Getting used to the sights and sounds of the real world is a key part in Guide Dogs’ training. Inexperienced dogs might be intimidated by the size, noises and smell of the bus. However, acclimating the dogs to buses and trains is important because the blind depend so heavily on public transportation.

To train a Guide Dog, volunteers spend about 18 weeks teaching everything from obedience to acquainting them with the human world. From there it’s back to the Guide Dogs campus where professionals take over for another five to nine months, training the dogs to see for someone else. “These are truly amazing animals,” continued Ms. Krieg. “If we can play a small part in fulfilling their mission, we will continue to offer our vehicles and service for years to come.”

Tri Delta Transit provides over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They currently operate 15 local bus routes Monday – Friday, 4 local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and shuttle services to community events.

For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

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