A ruff life no more: You can now catch an Uber with your pets in Hong Kong

Photo: Flickr/Tracie Hall
Photo: Flickr/Tracie Hall

Uber is officially pet-inclusive. With the introduction of Uber Pet in Hong Kong, you can now take your furry companions for a ride.

The company announced Tuesday that riders will be able to match with a driver who has opted to transport pets on the Uber app, paying a surcharge of HK$20 (US$2.60). The new option will launch on August 28.

Those riding with service animals, like guide dogs, do not have to pay any extra cost.

“From now on, whether you are taking your family dog for a run by the park, taking your cat to the vet, or bringing home a new dog from the animal shelter, travelling with furry friends is now made much easier with Uber Pet,” the company said.

Uber Pets is already available in the US,  Australia and New Zealand.

The launch of Uber Pet provides a much needed option for pet owners in Hong Kong, who by law cannot take their animal companions—with the exception of guide dogs—on buses or the MTR.  Pets are allowed on taxis and minibuses, but drivers have the right to refuse service to pet owners.

Read more: Canine Cab: Adorable dog tours Hong Kong from front seat of owner’s taxi

In recent years, lawmakers have called on authorities to expand on animal-friendly measures in the city, including permitting pets on public transportation. (In cities like Taipei and Tokyo, pet owners can take their animals on the subway.)

In a 2019 response, the government said it “would not change the existing arrangement in view of the high patronage of MTR and franchised buses, the crowdedness of the compartments especially during peak hours, and other factors such as acceptance of other passengers.”

The MTR in 2017 also rejected a call to allow animals aboard trains, telling Hong Kong Free Press that “providing a comfortable travelling environment relies on the cooperation and self-discipline of passengers.”

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