The Metra Board of Directors today approved a three-month trial program to allow small pets in carriers on weekend Rock Island Line trains. The trial will begin July 4.
The proposal came in response to a petition presented to Metra asking us to consider allowing small pets on trains. Metra staff surveyed other mass transit agencies and found most of them have policies allowing small pets aboard their trains and buses. Metra also conducted a survey of riders that found most riders endorsed the pilot proposal. In addition, Metra’s Citizen Advisory Board endorsed a trial of the idea.
Metra’s rules are based on rules used by other agencies with successful programs:
- Only small pets in enclosed protective carriers will be allowed.
- Carriers will not be allowed to take up seats, seating areas or obstruct pathways on trains or in stations and must be small enough to be carried on by a single person. They must fit in a rider’s lap or under the seat at all times.
- Metra reserves the right to remove passengers with pets that are noisy or disturb other riders.
- Owners will be responsible for the behavior and cleanup of their pets.
At the end of the three-month trial, Metra will assess how the experiment worked and then determine whether and how to proceed.
Service animals are allowed on all Metra trains at all times.