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People, Prams, Bikes and Dogs
By Trish Smith
12 October 2010

In Oslo, dogs and prams are well catered for. For instance, you are allowed to take your dog onto the bus. The dogs in Oslo are well accustomed to travelling on buses and the human passengers are completely indifferent to their canine co-commuters. Even great big shaggy dogs with wet hair from rolling around in the damp grass in the park are cheerfully tolerated. I found the sight of a big shaggy dog on a bus so remarkable that I whipped out my iPhone and took a picture:

Prams are also welcome on buses, and there is a large area in the middle of the bus reserved specifically for prams. It’s easy to get the pram on and off because the floor of the bus is lowered to meet the kerb. Just another example of Norwegian ingenuity and acceptance. In my town, there is nowhere to put the pram and the bus driver is not allowed to leave his seat to assist you with it if you did want to bring it on board.

Maybe I just noticed this about Oslo because I was once a mother with a large pram, battling the narrow doorways and annoyed glances of patrons in cafes, but Oslo welcomes parents with prams all over the city. It really would be a very easy place to go for a holiday and take your kids with you, pram and all. Many times I saw a pram parked outside a restaurant, just tucked in under the awning of the shop, out of the way of passing pedestrians. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this at home. Again, travelling overseas for me is interesting because of the similarities and because of the little differences. Another thing that caught my eye? All the dads with prams. I have never seen so many prams being pushed along by blokes.

Bikes can also be taken on public transport, and a lot of commuters took advantage of this. There is still plenty of room for the rest of us; the bikes are given a designated parking area on buses and on trains so that walking passengers aren’t inconvenienced or inadvertently run over by a back wheel. Yes, it was a little cramped, but nobody seemed really bothered by the cyclists’ presence. Everyone was happy to move out of the way so the bikes could get on board.

People, prams, bikes and dogs. Oslo is full of them, and they’re all getting along just fine.

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Keywords: happy, Sight, Oslo

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