Pets on Public Transportation Guide

Overall, many modes of public transportation in the U.S. allow small dogs. However, policies vary for larger dogs. The following areas allow large dogs on some of their public transportation:

  • · Boston

  • · Lake Erie Island Region of Ohio

  • · San Francisco

  • · Seattle

Pets are never allowed on Amtrak trains or Greyhound buses. Service animals are usually welcome on public transportation despite the pet policy. The policies for pets on public transportation in various states are described below.


Small dogs in carriers are allowed on buses and light rail, but their carrier must fit in the owner’s lap.

San Francisco

Small and large dogs are allowed on cable cars, historic streetcars, and trolley buses. People must pay the same fare for their dog as they do for themselves. Dogs are allowed to ride on Muni vehicles from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and all day on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Only one dog may ride per vehicle. Dogs must be muzzled and on a short leash or in a small, closed container.

Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, Washington D.C.

Small dogs in carriers that fit on the owner’s lap are allowed on buses and trains.


Only service dogs are allowed on buses.



Small and large dogs are allowed on the Boston T (subway). Small dogs may be transported in a carrier. Large dogs may be taken on the T during off-peak hours and must be leashed and controlled at all times.


Both small dogs and large dogs are allowed on the ferry that runs from Cape to Nantucket Island or Martha’s Vineyard. Pets are not allowed in the first class lounge and need to be leashed.


Both small and large dogs are allowed on the shuttle buses.



Pets are allowed on the ferry between Charlevoix and St. James Harbor on Beaver Island, but there are multiple rules that apply. Leashed pets are allowed on the top deck for an extra $10 each way, but they must be kept away from other passengers. Pets are not allowed inside the passenger cabin. Dogs barking excessively may be refused passage. Pets can stay in their owner’s vehicle inside a portable kennel away from the driver at no charge. Pets can also stay in a portable kennel on the car deck for an extra $10 each way. Portable kennels are also available to rent, but they must be reserved in advance.

New York

Small dogs in carriers are allowed on the Long Island Railroad, the Long Island Bus, New York City Transit buses and subways, and the Metro-North Railroad. Small dogs in carrying cases are allowed on the trains in New York. Large and small dogs are allowed on the ferry, but they need to stay on the outside portion of the boat.

New Jersey


Small dogs in carriers are allowed on the light rail.

North Cape May

The ferry service allows pets on the exterior of the deck and lounge areas.


Pets are allowed on ferries in Ohio free of charge as long as they are on a leash. Dogs of all sizes are also allowed on the public buses, golf carts, and taxis as long as they are well behaved.


The Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority allows small dogs in carriers that the owner can hold in their lap.


The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority allows dogs that weigh less than 25 pounds in a carrier.



Large and small dogs are allowed on the ferries if leashed and as long as they remain on the car deck.


Large and small dogs are allowed on street cars and buses. Small dogs that can fit in their owner’s lap can ride for free. Large dogs are charged the same fare as their owner and should not occupy a seat.



The ferry that provides service between Milwaukee and Muskegon allows pets as long as they stay in the owner’s vehicle or kennel, which is kept on the car deck. Kennels are available to rent as long as they are reserved prior to the trip.