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Traveling by Houston public transit with a small dog

Photo by eflon

Photo by eflon

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Houston, Texas (“Metro” or “MTA”) operates bus lines, express bus lines, and light rail in Harris County. The city plans extensions to the light rail lines and the addition of a commuter rail system. The consensus appears to be that cars are still a necessity in Houston, but there’s hope for the future — and the public transportation that exists is clean and pleasant.

Metro’s pet policy is as follows: “Customers can carry a pet on the bus and the Rail as long as it is caged properly.”

Other regional public transit providers

Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown is a ten-county area collectively referred to as “Greater Houston.” Cars are the preferred means of travel in this area, but there are a couple of public transit systems to tell you about. Please let me know about others I’ve missed! (As always, when I don’t give you a link to the pet policy, I found out about it in a phone conversation.)

Fort Bend County operates a commuter bus service called TREK Express, which connects Sugar Land with “the Greenway Plaza and Galleria areas of Houston.” Only service dogs are allowed on board.

Galveston’s Island Transit operates bus and trolley services in the city of Galveston. Trolley services have been suspended because of damage suffered to the system in Hurricane Ike, but the bus system is still in operation. Small dogs in carriers are allowed on board.

For other posts about traveling with dogs on public transit, take a look at Dog Jaunt’s handy guide!

4 comments

  • Todd Edelman

    Hi Dog Jaunt!

    Thanks for continuing to provide info about where taking little pups on transit is OK. By the way I recently found out that pet dogs of all sizes can ride on Calgary Transit in Canada.

    BUT also I was thinking: All dogs start small life small (!) and only some become too big for a bag or carrier at four, five or six months of age. So then for transit systems which only allow the wee ones, a transit rider may become a car driver when they want to take their dogs places.

    Normally when operators allow dogs, we say it can mean a car driver turning into a transit customer, but it might be useful to look at it another way – and convey this clearly to operators – that when a transit customer gets a dog it means that they might stop riding transit.

    Thanks for your hard work!
    Todd Edelman, plus Obi and Mara
    “Dogs on Board!” (see my website)

  • Hi, Todd! Thanks so much for your comment — I’m happy to hear about Calgary Transit, and I’m proud that here in Seattle, Metro allows big dogs (leashed and well-behaved, of course) on its buses and light rail. I hope other systems follow suit — your point is a good one that riders with growing dogs will eventually be forced onto the road in cars if their public transit systems don’t flex. Good luck and a scratch on the chest to you and your colleagues!

  • Kiril Kundurazieff

    Dear Dog Jaunt:

    I am a cat blogger who, until last september, lived in SoCal, specifically Orange County, now we live in Houston, TX..

    The blog is called The Opinionated Pussycat

    http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com

    My cats are stroller kitties and traveled around on the OCTA bus system with little problem except from those drivers who had never encountered the likes of us before, much less spent time reading their own driver’s handbook. 😀

    Anyway, when I first got the stroller in 2010 I spent time investigating and preparing for my first adventures on the bus.

    I was lucky to be afforded a chance to read relevant info in the driver’s manual, shared with me by a driver friend so was more prepared than most folks might be.

    Camera in tow, off we went…

    This is our blog post from Nov. 2010:
    http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com/2010/11/stroll-7-riding-orange-county-transit-an-fnn-investigation.html

    The Opinionated Pussycat has a stroller adventure archive including a trip to Long Beach, from Santa Ana.
    http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com/strolling-come-stroll-with-me-see-the-world/

    I hope this info proves of interest to your readers.

    My old stroller was damaged in our move to Houston, TX, but I have just ordered a replacement which is why I found your article of interest.

    I went to the Houston Metro website to see if there was more info than you provide, and there is something, but as clear and detailed as it could be.

    The Relevant Ride Metro pages for bus and rail gives tghe same info:

    “Customers can carry a pet on the bus and the rail as long as
    it is caged properly. Service animals are allowed to accompany riders with
    disabilities.”

    Strollers are also allowed – I assume this includes pet strollers.
    They suggest taking the kid out & folding the stroller, but no suggestions are offered for pet strollers.

    http://www.ridemetro.org/Services/Bus.aspx

    Needless to say my cats and I will be investigating further. 😀

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