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We know how hard it is to leave your dog at home alone in a cramped apartment all day, but if you live in New York, getting around with your dog can be...challenging. 

So how do you get around the city with a dog in tow? We’ll give you the scoop on how to get around New York City with your dog, and all the rules and regulations around commuting with your best friend. 

Let’s start with the bus system.

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Navigating Bus Routes with Your Dog

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) allows all animals on-board buses, as long as they’re properly contained within a crate and does not present a nuisance to other passengers. 

The sections about dogs in the MTA rules are Section 1050.9(h)(1) and Section 1050.9(h)(2). You’ll note in the second section that there are no restrictions on law enforcement dogs, service animals, and service animals still going through training.

And though service animals can be out of a container or crate, they are still required to be on a leash.

What About Dogs on the Subway?

Since the subway is also part of the MTA system, the same rule applies. All dogs must be crated unless it is a designated service animal, in which case they should be on a leash.

Do the Commuter Trains Allow Dogs?

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We all know that New Yorkers don’t own cars. There’s nowhere to park, and you can get everywhere with the assistance of public transportation.

It’s no different for those who live just over the bridge from Manhattan.

Are Dogs Allowed on the Long Island Railroad (LIRR)?

The official position of the LIRR is that any small animal, as long as it’s in a specified pet container and is not taking up a seat, is allowed on the train.

Service animals of any size are permitted if they are restrained and aren’t being a nuisance to other passengers.

What if you have a big dog, though? Some have seen big dogs in large crates on the railroad, but we would advise pet owners to proceed with caution. According to the updated rules, the small animal restriction may have been lifted. The rules now state that any animal that is properly contained can ride, the same as the other MTA transportation rules.

Call ahead before you bring your Great Dane in a crate, though.

Can I Bring My Dog on the Metro-North Train? / Are dogs allowed on Metro-North?

According to the Metro-North rules, Section 1085.10, any person with a service animal on a leash can bring dogs on Metro-North.

The Metro-North pet policy stipulates that your pet must be contained within a crate, and you must take them directly onto the train and straight off once you’ve reached your destination.

You cannot stay for prolonged periods in the terminal with an animal, even if it is properly contained.

What About Dogs on New Jersey Transit Rail Operations?

According to the New Jersey Transit website, you may bring a service animal with you on the train if they are on a leash. Only small animals can be brought aboard with a crate as NJ Transit dogs, though.

 Again, if you have a large dog, it’s best to check with the rail authority ahead of time to make sure you’re going to be able to get on the train according to the NJ Transit pet policy.

Pets & Dogs On Amtrak

Amtrak lets dogs and cats up to 20 pounds on board for rides up to 7 hours on most of their routes. The weight limit includes the carrier.

There are some exceptions, so it’s best to double-check before you buy your ticket.

Can I bring my dog on the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson)?

The PATH website states that “Unconfined animals except seeing-eye dogs or other assistance animals are prohibited.” So it appears that their rules are similar to the MTA: your dog should be in a carrier unless they are a service animal.

Can I bring my dog on the Staten Island Railway (SIR)?

The Staten Island Railway is part of the MTA, so your dog must be confined in a crate unless it’s a service animal.

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Are Dogs Allowed in NYC Taxis?

There are no official regulations against picking up a dog in a taxi.

It is up to the driver’s discretion whether to let you share a ride with your dog. It’s a good idea to make sure that your dog is well-mannered and won’t make a mess inside the car.

The best bet to getting a cab who will be happy to accept your four-legged friend is to hail it while the dog is sitting obediently on its leash, right next to you. It signals to the driver that it is an obedient dog and makes it evident that the animal will be coming with you on the trip.

Let Me Just Call an Uber: Can I Take My Dog on a Pet-Friendly Rideshare?

Are dogs allowed in an Uber these days?

Like the NYC taxi, the official stance of ride-sharing companies, like Uber and Lyft, is that it’s at the discretion of the driver whether to take a dog along or not.

If the animal is a service animal, both companies are required to accept the animal.

After you’ve secured the car in the app, send a quick text to the driver that you have a pet with you, stipulating the details. Ask them if it will be okay with them, or if you need to find another driver.

Most drivers will be okay with allowing your dog into the rear of the vehicle, but issues do arise occasionally. Always be upfront that you’re traveling with an animal so that no one’s time is wasted and feelings aren’t hurt.

What Is the Pet Policy for Uber?

According to Uber, the drivers cannot legally refuse to drive any passenger accompanied by a service animal that aids in a disability. The service animal should be wearing their vest, but technically, the driver cannot ask you for any paperwork to prove the animal is a service animal.

If you’re traveling with a pet (not a service animal), there are still options. If it’s available in your city, why not look for the Uber Pet option? It guarantees that you’re paired with a pet-friendly driver.

What Is the Actual Pet Policy for Lyft? / Is Lyft dog-friendly, too?

According to Lyft, the driver cannot decline to drive a passenger who has a service animal with them. They can’t ask for proof if you call them a service animal.

If it is a pet, it’s entirely up to the driver whether they want to let you ride along.

The best idea is to call the driver ahead of time to advise them that you’re going to be riding with a pet. Use the call to confirm that it’s okay with them.

Lyft does encourage their drivers to be as accommodating as possible to their passengers, so most drivers will not have a problem with driving pets. If the driver isn’t compliant, just cancel the ride.

If you’re still charged a fee, reach out to customer support, and they’ll be happy to reverse it for you.

Remember to give your driver a bit of extra love in the tip department if they’re cool with your dog riding along.

A Rideshare App for Pet Owners

SpotOn is a relatively new rideshare service created especially for pet owners. SpotOn started in New York City, and they have apps for iOS and Android.

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What Exactly Is a Service Animal?

Any pet that has been specially trained to aid their owner in some sort of disability, whether physical or mental, is considered a service animal.

 There are only a couple of questions any service provider may ask of the owner of a service animal, including:

1.   Is this animal required because of a disability?

2.   What work or task has this animal been trained to perform? 

Beyond these answers, the driver is not legally allowed to demand paperwork to prove the animal’s service denotation.

Transportation Specifically for People with Pets, Or Pets All By Themselves, Is It Out There?

Instead of settling on the standard options that deal with you bringing your pets aboard, are there any pet-friendly transportation services that are made for people who are traveling with dogs?

In New York City, absolutely! 

Let’s go over the options for pet transportation in NYC.

Dog Taxi and Pet Chauffeur Services in NYC

There are plenty of private dog taxi services, pet taxi, and pet chauffeur services in the area.

Many of these services have been created by dog lovers who saw a gap in the marketplace, including:

 ●        Canine Car: Started by a woman and her dog who couldn’t get a cab one day, they will ride you and your pooch inside and outside Manhattan for a set fee.

●        Pet Chauffeur: These wonderful people operate in New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Miami. What sets them apart is that they will give your pet a ride with or without you. They are happy to take your pet anywhere it needs to go, from a vet appointment to the groomer, without you having to rearrange your schedule.

●        Elite Pet Ride: Known as NYC’s #1 pet transportation service, Elite Pet Ride provides dog transport NYC needs for your furry friends 24/7. Not only do they provide local and airport transport, but they’ll even drive your pet from state to state.

●        Pet Cab NYC: It is another service that can transport your pets even if you won’t be joining the trip. They cover all NYC and also Connecticut, New Jersey, and elsewhere.

●        K9 Cars: The private pet taxi NYC service covers all the boroughs, the Hamptons, and beyond.

What If I’m Renting a Car? Is It Okay to Have My Dog in a Rental?

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Every rental car service will have its own rules and regulations. The best bet is to make sure it’s perfectly clear with the company you’re renting from that you’ll have your pooch with you.

The company will be able to give you all the information you need, and no one will have any unexpected surprises when you arrive. 

Here are the rules for some of the most popular rental car companies:

Enterprise

According to its website, Enterprise is entirely pet-friendly. You may bring your pet with you in the car. It will need to be crated if it isn’t a service dog.

Clean up any mishaps and remove pet hair before you drop the car off to avoid any extra cleaning fees.

National

According to the National website, pets can be passengers in rental cars. It will need to be kept in a crate as much as possible, though.

 If your pet makes a mess of the car, you will be subject to extra cleaning fees when you return the vehicle.

Service animals, in compliance with the ADA, are always welcome without a crate.

Alamo

According to the Alamo website, service animals are acceptable with Alamo without a container.

Traveling with your dog will require a crate, though. Be sure to clean up any pet hair or other messes thoroughly. There are additional cleaning fees if there are mementos left behind by your pooch.

Hertz

Not only is Hertz dog-friendly, but they will also put up protective grilles inside the vehicle to give your dog their own space.

They will be safe from luggage, and it also protects other passengers.

Learn more about it here on their website.

Avis

According to the Avis website, they advise calling your pickup location and let them know that you’ll be traveling with a dog.

Avis doesn’t require you to keep your pet crated, but you’ll need to get the car detailed if your dog is a shedder. If there is a lot of pet hair or a mess, you could face a $250 cleaning fee at a minimum.

Budget

The Budget website says that they are good with any housebroken pets.

The pets can ride in the car in the same way they ride in your car at home. Similar to the other services, you will be subject to a cleaning fee if there is anything left behind by your pet. Be respectful of the vehicle and the state in which you return it to the dealer.

Dollar

Dollar’s website says that Dollar is good with pets and won’t charge you any additional fees. It also does not require any type of advance notice for traveling with an animal.

 Dollar does go on to point out that you will be charged a fee for any excessive mess caused by your pet.

Thrifty

According to their site, Thrifty thinks pets are tremendous and can ride in their vehicles. 

As with the other rental companies, if you clean up after your furry friend, there won’t be any additional cleaning fees.

Trams? Can I Bring My Dog on the Roosevelt Island Tramway?

Yes, per the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation: All animals must be kept in a crate and not cause a disturbance to other passengers. It does not apply to service animals, but these must still be on a leash.

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Can I Take My Dog on the NYC Ferries?

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According to the NYC Ferry website, dogs and other pets are not allowed on any of the fleets of ferries.

It does not apply to service animals protected under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), however. All service animals should have their vests on denoting them for the task.

The rule applies to all the ships, including the New York Waterway, the Staten Island Ferry, and the New York Water Taxi.

What About Private Bus Systems? Are Dogs Allowed on Those?

There are several private buses throughout the city. Buses like the Hampton Jitney, the Hampton Luxury Liner, and the Chinatown Bus Lines can be seen traversing the network of roadways, day or night.

The Jitney ascribes to the same policy as the MTA—dogs can come on board if they are crated, and service animals must be leashed.

 The Hampton Luxury Liner and the Chinatown buses, though, DO NOT allow any pets on board.

For the Downtown Connection, you’re allowed to bring small dogs in crates.

Your dog must be a service animal to take the ride.

Intercity Bus Systems Pet Policies

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There are a ton of these intercity buses, as well. Here is a breakdown of the buses that are available and whether you can take pets with you.

Service animals must always be permitted to ride according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). So, even if they don’t allow pets, they must accommodate your leashed service animal.

●        BoltBus: No Pets

●        Megabus: No Pets

●        Tripper Bus: No Pets

●        Vamoose Bus: No Pets

●        BestBus: No Pets

What About the AirTrain JFK? Do They Allow Dogs to Ride?

Most airport services, like the AirTrain JFK, will allow your pet to ride if they are in a crate (or leashed if they are a service animal). Double-check with the service to make sure before you book.

Using Bicycles or Pedicabs, Possible with a Pup?

If it is a small dog and crated, it shouldn’t be an issue, but it is up to the operator of the pedicab. If you’re having to use a bicycle or pedicab, it might be better to leave Fido at home.

New York City is Amazingly Dog-Friendly!

While you do have to make a plan when traveling with your dog through the big city, most transportation options are available.

Pay closer attention if you have a large dog, but smaller dogs will be okay with a dedicated crate. Even one of the large dog purses would do nicely, instead of having to lug around a plastic crate. 

We’d like to hear about your adventures in the New York transit system with your dog. Are we missing your favorite service? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Enter your email below to get a 1 page cheat sheet/guide of all the different transportation options:

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