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Pets on Public Transportation?

Happy Birthday! New York City's first official subway system opened on October 27, 1904. Small dogs can cruise the Big Apple inside carriers on the subways, trains, and buses, while on the San Francisco MUNI buses and railways, dogs of any size are welcome as long as they are well-behaved, muzzled, and it's not during a major commute time.

Rules about pets (excluding service animals) and mass transit vary by city and state so, if you're thinking of traveling with a pet, check with your local transportation agency first. However, even by many animal lovers, pets on buses, trains, and subways can get the cold shoulder – how do you feel?


EastVillageAmy EastVillageAmy 9 years
I actually didn't know that dogs weren't allowed on the nyc subways until someone told me I could be tkted for it, even though I walked my dog right past mta workers without them saying anything. I've only done it a couple of times. I wanted to go out to the beach for the day and wanted to take him and another time to Central Park. He's always fine, and just sits up on the bench next to me, certainly less offensive than the crazies and wild children. I would never take him on the trains during rush hour. And by the time we get to the subway station he's sufficiently relieved himself. I don't get why a service dog is allowed and not just a regular large dog, I had a conversation with an airline once and I'm like, "so because I can see and actually keep an eye my dog I can't take him?" But don't get me started on the airline rules for big dogs. There's such double standard descrimination against bigger dogs.
wallaceo wallaceo 9 years
I'm torn...I hate getting on a bus that smells like wet dog. (and I'm a dog owner) But, I don't think its fair that small dogs and not large dogs are allowed. (especially because small dogs tend to be yappy! sorry...)
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
I try to bring my dog various places around the city so that he's exposed to all types of things. The better socialzed the dog, the better behaved the dog is! I don't use public transportation, but I do take him in the plane cabin when I travel (he's a small Boston Terrier). The majority of people that meet him fall in love with him. But I would never take him in a store that wasn't dog friendly!
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I used to have to take public transit when I was in school and with various jobs I have had in the downtown area. Considering the way people behave on public transit I certainly don't think animals are a problem. I have been groped, caught people trying to stick their hands in my purse, been subjected to the most offensive conversations I have ever hear, sat next to people eating sloppy, smelly food, seen people drinking alcohol, trying to light up cigarettes, poop themselves, pee themselves, harass passengers for money and the list goes on and on. Perhaps in larger cities there could be pet friendly buses, the way there is wheelchair friendly and bicycle friendly buses in my city. All things considered I'd much rather take the animal bus than the people bus. Atleast if animals are misbehaved or have "accidents" on a bus I can forgive them, they don't know any better. But when people act lik animals on public transport there is no excuse.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I have been taking my dog everywhere since I brought him home from the breeder because I wanted him to be well socialized. He loves to go shopping and there are even certain stores he loves more than others because they have good treats. Portland was voted the dog friendliest city last year so I am used to my dog being allowed almost everywhere. There are stores that request that I carry him in the store which I always do. As long as owners are responsible I have no problem with it at all! It takes only a few to ruin it for many.
mnp mnp 9 years
cravinsugar - I think the situation with the elevator at your apartment is very different from animals who ride public transportation. But omg, if I had one of the other tenants' pets do that kind of thing in the elevator or the hallways, I will have a fit! I try to use the bus/subway as a last resort when I need to get somewhere with my dog. I usually use a leash with him because carrying him inside a crate gets very heavy; plus, my dog will keep to himself when he rides the bus/subway with me. But anyways, my dog knows better than to poop or pee on a bus or a train. And, being a responsible pet owner with plastic bags and paper towels to clean up after my dog's mess. I'm all for public transportation open to pets.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
Ok, this is a sore spot with my apartment, there are signs up that say "please no pets in the elevators". we are only 4 stories so not a big deal. People take their little doggies in the elevator, the little doggies piss in the elevator...I step in to go to work (half asleep and not paying attention) or get in the elevator after a long day at work (tired and not alert) and i step in someone's dogs piss and it pisses me the ride in the elevator is a terrible stinky one, and I comploain and complain and complain (as i know it isn't the dog's fault) and nothing gets done about it. I would probably get high blood pressure and stroke out if i had to deal with animal urine on my hour long commutes. that would be completely unbearable. TOTALLY AGAINST! :rant: rant over haha.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I hate when peopl get angry when others bring thier animals on public transportation!!! I mena, sometimes they have to get from point A to point B too! And not everyone has the luxery of owning a car!
sharpai_luv sharpai_luv 9 years
I'm all for it as long as they are properly contained because they might unexpectedly create a scene.
PrSiren PrSiren 9 years
i think its okay if you have your dog in a carrier and under control. for the people with allergies? most of the time you're not going to be on the train with the dog for a long time. a few minutes probably won't kill anyone. there are much worse things ALREADY on the train than dogs.
esk4 esk4 9 years
I just want to know how they would deal with the animal waste... I work in a store and people seem to think its ok to bring their small/medium sized dogs in then they set the dog down and it does its business in the store, and ofcourse when they come in they claim oooh my dog is sooo well behaved she wont mess anything up I swear.. I mean not all pet owners are as responsible as others, and by letting anyone who wants to travel with their pet do it then there will be people who do not clean up their dogs business, also fairs would most likely be increased as a resault of having to hire extra cleaning staff... I mean even if the owner picks up the dogs mess, there's still alot of bacteria, possibly e-coli that is left on the ground where it happened, how would that situation be resolved? I think it would be a better idea if there were designated busses ect. that were pet usable, and others that were strictly pet free... and seriously I love dogs, I've had dogs all my life, but sometimes you just need to think about how it would effect other people...
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
Oh my gosh, where would it stop? Why we might just end up like Europe, where animals go everywhere, they are well-behaved and it is not a big deal! If all pet owners would just be responsible and considerate about their animals, takings pets to any public area wouldn't be a problem. And I'm sorry, but you can't logically make the exception for service animals but not other animals - service animals have dander that affects allergies too. To be clear, I understand the ADA laws, and I'm not purporting that services dogs shouldn't be allowed places. I'm just saying, if I can't have my dog at my feet in a coffee shop because "it isn't sanitary", then it is also not sanitary for a service dog to be there either.
jmt jmt 9 years
Part of having a well socialized pet is exposing them to life but it can be hard with so many restrictions on animals. My dog is very well behaved, but I would happily muzzle her if I could take her on the train or shopping.
Random2 Random2 9 years
I think it's ok in a pinch, but some considerations need to be taken. Like size, temperament of the pet, cleaning up after the pet of the need arises, and the comfort of other people around you and your pet. I'd have no trouble with a smaller dog or cat, but I'd be really uncomfortable if someone walked onto the train with a huge dog, no matter how nice the owner says it is.
Vampyre Vampyre 9 years
To me taking your pet on public transport is a good idea. But my concern would be for people with allergies and phobias. Not to mention people who don't clean up after their pets. It's bad enough when somebody leaves their dogs' whopper poop in a park, but on the train? Yuck!
millarci millarci 9 years
As much as I love animals, I couldn't do it only because there are people out there with allergies. It's not fair to them.
gruaig_rua gruaig_rua 9 years
Too true Kiddylnd! :ROTFL: The first country I experienced dogs on public transport was in Germany. I had never seen it before so it was a bizarre experience and one I kept a close eye on out of genuine interest. There seemed to be absolutely problem. The owners were very responsible, keeping the dogs on a leash and not letting them wander. Personally I wouldn't bring my own dog on public transport but that's only because she can be a bit hyper and is EXTREMELY friendly especially towards kids, whether they like her or not!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
kiddylnd-amen to that!! I once had a guy offer to sell me rusty razor blades on the train. That was interesting...
emalove emalove 9 years
I wouldn't mind at all as long as the owner was keeping the dog under control, which I'm sure they would be.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
Amen aimeeb! I work in the public sector and have noticed that many people without cars have friends without cars too. Let's not all assume that we all know people with reliable private transportation. I've also been in situations on the bus where I was afraid of many things. I've been on buses where the police had to be called, where there were people smoking, drinking, and yes...defecating. It's actually more likely that a HUMAN will poop on the bus than a dog. Now THAT is scary!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I don't think animals should be banned because people are fearful. Fear is a fact of life, and I've got stuck on public transportation in situations I was not comfortable with but you have to deal. Your comment of finding a friend to bring you to a vet appt, it's realistic that you might not be able to. I'm sure your friends would have their own lives and I wouldn't put my animal's health and visit on hold till I could schedule it around another person's schedule but my own.
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
Hmm, those are all pretty good points. At first, I was against it but you've challenged my opinion, kiddylnd.
esk4 esk4 9 years
you can't tell someone not to wear offensive perfumes, but the things that we can prevent we should... you can prevent people from bringing their animals onto public transportation... some people have serious animal allergies, and you can make a safe environment from that, and what about people who are afraid of dogs??? I mean if they are outside walking yes they can cross the street but if its in a confined space... not so comfortable... thats just the way I see it, and I think the only exception should be service dogs... I also don't think people should bring their dogs into non pet stores, regardless of size... and once dogs are allowed where will it stop?? why just dogs what about people who want to bring their other animals around with them? and the inevitable fact that eventually there will be some form of animal waste in the stations if not on the actually form of transportation??? and for people who might need public transportation to get to a vet? I'm sure you could find soemone who could give you a ride...
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
Chatondeneige while I appreciate your point, many people ONLY have public transportation as a means of travel. How would you suggest they get to and from a Veterinary appointment? Also - there are MANY kinds of allergies, including a large group who has a fragrance allergy - so should be ban wearing perfume or cologne on a bus too? I do like the policy our transit system has - all but dogs must be in carriers, small dogs may ride free if on an owner's lap, large breeds must pay full adult fare and must sit on-leash in the aisle.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 9 years
I'm allergic to dogs - I really don't want to be stuck on a bus with one for 40 minutes while their dander circulates on a regular basis. And while I love my kitty, I don't want him making anyone else uncomfortable on the bus or subway.
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