At the top of my list of two-week vacation ideas is a road trip down the Hudson River, starting much farther north, in Québec City and Montréal, then dawdling from Saratoga Springs to New York City. The foreseeable future doesn’t include two free weeks, however, so I’m channeling my energies into planning and researching. I’m delighted to report that travelers with small pets have a wealth of public transit options in both Montréal and Québec City — how nice to be able to put off renting a car until we’re ready to head south!
Montréal public transit options
The details are below, but put briefly, small pets in carriers, carried on their owners’ laps, are allowed on all of Montréal’s public transit options. The commuter train also allows small pets on leashes to travel in their owners’ arms.
Within the city, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) operates a network of buses and also the Métro (I’ll start by providing you with links to the transit systems’ home pages, then provide links to the specific pet policy pages). On both STM buses and STM metro trains, small pets in carriers are allowed on board: “Pets must at all times remain inside a cage or other closed carrier designed for that purpose.”
Snuggled up next to Montréal is the city of Laval, served by the buses of the Société de transport de Laval (STL), some of which will connect you with STM metro stations, and at least one AMT commuter train station. Small pets in carriers are also allowed on board STL buses: “Les petits animaux domestiques doivent être transportés dans une cage, une boîte ou un sac prévu à cet effet afin de protéger la clientèle de la STL des risques de morsure et de griffure et de tout autre danger.”
Longueuil, in the other direction, has a bus system of its own (the Réseau de transport de Longueuil, or RTL), which similarly connects with STM metro stations and AMT train stations. Here too, small pets are allowed on board, in carriers on their owners’ laps: “Les animaux de compagnie voyagent obligatoirement dans des cages fermées et sur les genoux du client. Cette restriction ne s’applique pas aux chiens-guides ou d’accompagnement.”
The commuter train lines (run by the Agence métropolitaine de transport, or AMT) have some good sightseeing potential for visitors — and AMT has the most generous pet policy in the Montréal area transit web. Pets are allowed on board both in carriers and, leashed, on their owners’ laps: “As for pets, in general, those under 10 kg (cats, dogs or birds) can be brought on trains as long as they are kept in a cage or in your arms and on a leash at all times.”
Québec City public transit options
Again, to sum up, the Québec City and Lévis city bus systems both allow small pets in carriers on board; your pet need only be leashed on the ferry service between the two cities.
The Réseau de transport de la capitale (RTC) operates a variety of buses all over the region, particularly including regular buses and Metrobus rapid transit lines. Per Rule No. 231, Section III, Subsection 4 [PDF], pets are allowed on board if they are in carriers: “Dans ou sur un immeuble ou du matériel roulant, il est interdit à toute personne de se trouver avec un animal ou permettre qu’un animal y soit présent, sauf…si cet animal est transporté en tout temps dans une cage ou une boîte dûment conçue à cette fin.”
Lévis is a city just to the south of Québec City, and connected to it by a couple of bridges and a ferry (see below). The Société de transport de Lévis (STL) operates a bus system covering the city and extending into Québec City. Per Rule No. 135, Section III, Subsection 4 [PDF], which is surely related in some way to the nearly identical RTC language above, pets are allowed on board if they are in carriers: “Dans ou sur un immeuble ou du matériel roulant, il est interdit à toute personne de se trouver avec un animal ou permettre qu’un animal y soit présent, sauf…si cet animal est transporté en tout temps dans une cage ou un récipient dûment conçu à cet effet.”
There is also a ferry between Québec City and St. Levis, operated by the Société des Traversiers du Québec (STQ). The crossing takes about 12 minutes, and leashed pet dogs are allowed on board: “Si vous voyagez avec un animal de compagnie, vous devez obligatoirement le tenir en laisse.”
Montréal to Québec City — any pet friendly options?
The pet-friendly options for traveling between Montréal and Québec City are flying or driving. Flights are under an hour, but they’re pricey — we’ll likely drive instead, since it’s only a three-hour trip, and it sounds pleasant. Via Rail, Canada’s national train line, connects the cities, but its pet policy is so unpleasant that it’s off my list of options. There is a bus, the Orléans Express, but — surprise! — it’s not pet-friendly.
For details about pet policies for other cities’ public transit systems, please check out Dog Jaunt’s handy collection of blog posts about pet friendly public transit!