Tri-Rail is a 71-mile commuter railway on the east side of Florida, connecting West Palm Beach and Miami by way of Boca Raton, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale and other communities (now operated by the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, the Tri-Rail trains run on tracks once owned and operated by CSX — the line was formerly CSX’s Miami Subdivision). A convenience for residents, Tri-Rail is also a useful option for visitors with small pets, particularly since it links up with Metrorail and Amtrak.
Among other things, Tri-Rail takes passengers directly to Miami International Airport, and also, via bus shuttle, to the Palm Beach International Airport and the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. Small pets in carriers are allowed on Tri-Rail trains (“Small pets are permitted if enclosed in a proper carrying cage”). The website doesn’t refer to the airport shuttle buses, but I just spoke with a Tri-Rail customer service rep, who assured me that small pets in carriers are allowed onboard.
Several Tri-Rail stations are shared with Amtrak’s Silver Star and Silver Meteor lines [PDF], including West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Deerfield Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Hollywood. Now that Amtrak allows small pet dogs and cats in carriers onboard, that’s useful info for pet owners in Southeast Florida.
Similarly, it’s useful to know that Tri-Rail also connects with Metrorail (or “Metro”), the rapid transit system for Miami and Miami-Dade County. The two shared stations are Miami International Airport and, one stop to the north, Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer Station. The Metro also allows small pets in carriers onboard its trains and buses (be sure that your pet’s carrier doesn’t inconvenience other passengers, is the gist of the pet policy). That means that someone arriving with a small pet at MIA can readily take the Metro into downtown Miami, for example, or head north to Fort Lauderdale on Tri-Rail.
For other posts about traveling with dogs on public transit, take a look at Dog Jaunt’s handy guide!