Have You Ever Taken Your Pet on Public Transit?

It really doesn’t take alot to reduce our negative impact on the planet. Composting, using canteens instead of plastic water bottles, and taking the BART are just a few ways we can all contribute to a greener world. Undoubtedly, San Francisco boasts an outstanding train system, but have you ever taken your pet on public transit?

Public transit is a great way to travel for us (and the planet), and can also be a safe and viable option for pets to get between destinations.

Best to Be Clear

When considering taking your pet on public transit, thoroughly research the line, station, associated fees, and restrictions.

Pets can ride BART for free, but they must be contained inside a specifically designed travel kennel or crate. Larger animals who cannot be carried in a carrier are not allowed to travel, even if they are leashed or harnessed.

SFMTA

Amazingly, pets are allowed (dare we say “welcomed”) to ride MUNI vehicles, such as trolleys, cable cars, or rail cars. However, during MUNI peak hours (5 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Monday through Friday), pets are restricted. Otherwise, a single pet per passenger may ride on the lap or below the seat. (They must be leashed or contained in a kennel, and an extra fare will be required.)

Extra Helpers

Through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is recognized as “any dog, signal dog, or other animals individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability”.

Service animals are protected under the ADA and may ride free of charge on all MUNI vehicles (but they cannot occupy seats). They must be under control at all times.

Take Your Pet on Public Transit

Everything is easier when you have a few helpful tips in your back pocket.

  • Ensure that your contact information is clear and updated on ID tags and microchips, which can lead to a safe return if separated.
  • If your pet meets the size requirements, crate train him or her prior to setting off on any trips (even short ones).
  • Before you board, encourage your pet to go to the bathroom.
  • Bring along a portable water bowl and provide fresh, cool water.
  • Try not to travel within a few hours of a meal.
  • Exercise your pet beforehand to get out any extra energy.
  • Be mindful that not everyone on public transit will appreciate sharing the trip with your pet.
  • Do not allow your pet to ride on any seats or create a disturbance.
  • Don’t forget the supplies to clean up a mess.
  • Plan your trip so your pet isn’t en route during the hottest (or most crowded) times of the day.

Get Out There (But Take Care)

Your pet may be ripe for new experiences. If he or she can handle crowds, unpredictable noises, motion, and being contained for certain stretches of time, taking your pet on public transit might be the right choice.

Please know that we are always here to answer any questions or address your concerns. Simply give us a call. Bon voyage!