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Traveling by Philadelphia public transit with a small dog

Photo by Bev Sykes

Photo by Bev Sykes

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) operates bus, subway, tram, light rail and commuter rail systems in and around Philadelphia. A separate entity, PATCO (Port Authority Transit Corporation) operates a rail line connecting Philadelphia with southern New Jersey suburbs from Camden to Lindenwold.

Two PATCO stops (Broadway and Lindenwold) connect with NJ Transit‘s rail system. At SEPTA’s Doylestown stop, riders can connect with Doylestown Rushbus (formerly Doylestown DART). The R2 branch of SEPTA is operated in conjunction with Delaware’s DART First State, and riders can connect with the DART First State bus system at the Delaware stops (Claymont, Wilmington, Churchmans Crossing and Newark).

Pet Policies

SEPTA’s pet policy is as follows: “Small animals that are carried in a covered, secured container, that can be stored on the owner’s lap, without danger or disturbance to other customers, will be permitted on vehicles.” [2/24/12 This language no longer appears on SEPTA’s site, but when I spoke today to a customer service rep, she told me that the rules are still the same.][2/18/16 Four years later I checked again, and small pet dogs in carriers are still, apparently, allowed on SEPTA per the following language: “Consistent with US Dept. of Transportation ADA regulations, companion animals, pets, therapy, comfort, mental health, or emotional support animals are not classed as service animals for purposes of public transit, and cannot ride on SEPTA vehicles except in carriers.” (emphasis added)]

The PATCO customer service representative I spoke to told me that that small dogs in carriers are allowed on board, for no extra fee. NJ Transit also allows small dogs in carriers on its buses and trains.

The Doylestown Rushbus allows small dog in carriers on board for no extra fee, a customer service representative told me. DART First State, however, only allows service dogs on board.

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