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Traveling by New Orleans public transit with a small dog

Photo by David Paul Ohmer

The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (“RTA” or “NORTA”) operates buses and streetcars in the cities of New Orleans and Kenner. The system was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina (flooding ruined dozens of vehicles, damaged tracks and other infrastructure, and made the RTA’s headquarters uninhabitable) but has been recovering. You will have to admire the RTA’s grit and determination from a distance, however, because only service dogs are allowed aboard its buses and streetcars. (I called twice, since the first answer disappointed me so much; alas, that really appears to be the policy.)

The other major public transit agency in the area is Jefferson Transit (“JeT”), which operates buses in suburban Jefferson Parish, including Metairie, Gretna, Terrytown, Harvey, and Marrero. JeT routes essentially ring downtown New Orleans, so they go to plenty of useful places, including the airport. Please note that on weekdays, the E-2 Airport Downtown Express goes from the airport to the corner of Tulane and Loyola, right in downtown New Orleans (on weekends, the bus only goes as far as Tulane and Carrollton). That’s good news, because a JeT customer service representative told me that small dogs in carriers are allowed on board JeT buses.

Please note that SuperShuttle does not service New Orleans International Airport. The local provider, Airport Shuttle New Orleans, 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!


  • I’m with you, Mary — bummer! Taxis often do take dogs if you ask politely and your dog seems well-behaved. I’m thinking that it would be a good idea to arrive and leave on a weekday, so you can take the JeT bus downtown from/to the airport, and then do all of your exploring on foot….

  • Edie

    I just checked out your list of public transportation options for dogs — what great information. I don’t know that Frankie would like public transportation any more than he likes car travel but it’s very nice to know the possibilities.

  • Pat

    I recently found out that dogs on leashes can ride the Algiers Ferry from Algiers Point in New Orleans down into the French Quarter. Pretty Cool

  • Brenda

    I have traveled to New Orleans multiple times with my Klee Kai, and not had a problem getting a cab. One cabbie passed, but another came along and loved her. I haven’t tried Uber yet, but I find this to be a pretty dog-friendly town.

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