Just under a year since the first paying passengers got on an Edinburgh Tram now they are welcoming trainee guide dog puppies. (Awww cute!)
The student pooches are to be given free travel on buses and trams as part of their training programme by Guide Dogs Scotland.
Over the course of last week the trainees have familiarised themselves with Lothian Buses, visiting several of the bus depots. Today the puppies took their first steps onto an Edinburgh Tram vehicle at Edinburgh Airport. Providing access to both buses and trams allows Guide Dogs Scotland to ensure that their puppy trainees are able to cope with all different environments and situations, giving their owners the confidence to travel on public transport.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, Chair of Transport for Edinburgh said: “Our engagement with Guide Dogs Scotland is key to our continued commitment to create an integrated and accessible transport system for everyone who wants to get around Edinburgh. Both Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses are determined to be at the forefront of accessibility to make a real difference to the lives of blind and partially sighted people.”
Tom Norris, Director and General Manager, Edinburgh Trams said: “We want to make travelling on our trams as easy as possible for everyone. Our vehicles have been designed with high visibility handrails, and our passenger alert buttons signposted in Braille for blind and partially sighted tram users. However we are always seeking to help improve the experience for our passengers and I look forward to supporting Guide Dogs Scotland with their training.”
The work with Guide Dogs Scotland complements the recently launched ‘talking app’ which supports people with visual impairment. The app has proved to be popular with around 110,000 people updating their Transport for Edinburgh app to include it.