On Friday June 28, Metro Trains officially unveiled and opened their first of five Assistance Animal Relief Areas (AARA), the first of which is at Footscray Station in Melbourne.
These areas have been designed specifically for assistance animals, such as Seeing Eye Dogs, to do their business in an accessible and safe area.These new areas are fenced off and contain access to water, a turfed, grassy area, plastic bags for waste collection, a lidded bin, and CCTV security cameras nearby.
Debra Simons, a client of Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs, was at the unveiling at Footscray Station.
“One of the considerations when travelling with a Seeing Eye Dog is having a safe and secure place to toilet them” she says. “So to have them at stations is fantastic, especially for people on long journeys”.
While Metro Trains were developing these new rest areas, they sought the guidance of several key stakeholders, including Vision Australia, to ensure best practice when these areas launched.
While the AARA opened today at Footscray Station, four more of these are going to be rolled out over the coming days. The other locations for these are: Parliament Station, Caulfield Station, Flemington Racecourse Station and Showgrounds Station.