We break down different modes of pet transportation in New York City so you’ll know which ones are pet friendly! Welcome to the Big Apple.
The subway is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get around NYC with your pup. Dogs are allowed on the subway as long as they are in a bag or carrier and not bothering anyone. In the official MTA rules, Section 1050.9 states “no person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.” That means you’re free to travel to all five boroughs with your pooch for only $2.75!
Have a large dog? Not to worry. New Yorkers can be creative, and you can do the same. Grab an Ikea bag or a large duffle and ride the tracks.
Service animals, dogs working for law enforcement, and animals being trained for service are the exception to the rule. The MTA defines “service animal” with the following statement:
“Service animal” means a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability that such person is unable to perform due to such disability, such as guiding persons with impaired vision, alerting persons with impaired hearing to sounds, pulling a wheelchair, retrieving dropped items or providing rescue assistance. The term service animal does not include a therapy animal or animal used for emotional support.
New York City public buses, like the subway, are run by the MTA, and subject to the same rules as the subway system. Dogs are allowed, as long as they are in a bag and not bothering anyone. Again, service animals, dogs working for law enforcement, and animals in training for service are the exception to the rule. (See above for clarification).
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR)
To travel on the Long Island Rail Road, a pet must be in a bag or carrier. The LIRR website states that an animal must be “properly confined for shipment.”
Have a large dog? You can get creative and hope for the best.
The LIRR lists seeing eye and hearing dogs as the exception to the rule.
Metro-North is not as strict. You’re allowed to bring a dog as long as they’re on a leash or in a bag, and as long as they’re well behaved. Metro-North says:
No person except a police officer or other person authorized by Metro-North shall enter a terminal, station or train with any animal except a seeing eye or hearing ear dog or an animal en route to or from a train and under the direct control of the individual the animal is accompanying such as by leash, container or other device.
The same rules apply to service animals.
The PATH Train
Dogs are allowed on the PATH train as long as they are “properly confined for shipment,” meaning in a crate or container. Service animals are the exception.
New Jersey Transit
You can travel on NJ Transit trains and buses with a small dog in a carrier. They state that “Only service animals accompanying customers with disabilities or their trainers, police dogs, and small pets in carry-on travel cages are allowed on-board NJ TRANSIT trains or buses.”
AirTrain to JFK
The AirTrain to JFK allows “small domestic animals in secure carriers” to travel on board. However, we’ve witnessed larger dogs using the AirTrain without a problem. Proceed at your own risk – fingers crossed!
Dogs are allowed on the NYC Ferry, as long as they’re in a carrier.
The official website states, “we follow a ‘No Paws on Deck’ rule meaning your pet must be in a pet carrier to be allowed on board for the comfort and safety of all riders.”
Staten Island Ferry
Pets are allowed on the Staten Island Ferry as long as they’re caged and/or muzzled. If your pet is behaving, you can politely ask ferry staff for permission to remove them from their cage/remove the muzzle. Good luck!
NYC Water Taxi
Unfortunately, only “assisted life” and “seeing eye” dogs are allowed on board. No other animals are permitted.
Dogs are allowed in yellow cabs, but it’s ultimately up to the driver. Small dogs in carriers usually have the most luck with getting a ride. If you have a large dog, have them sit by your side as you hail a cab, so the driver can see that they’re well behaved. Bring a towel for them to sit on and remember to tip generously.
If you want to ensure that you have a ride with your pet, and that you won’t be denied, order a pet taxi. They’re reliable, safe, and have pet experience. The two highest rated services in New York City are k9 Cars and Canine Car Pet Taxi. Contact them directly for rates and reservations.
Allowing a dog in an Uber is up to the driver.
According to Uber:
Service animals are permitted to accompany riders at all times. If you’re traveling with a pet that’s not a service animal, drivers may choose whether or not to allow the pet in their vehicle.
Uber recommends texting or calling the driver ahead of time to give them a heads up that you’re traveling with a dog, and to bring a blanket or towel with you.
Smaller dogs in carriers are generally tolerated very well. We’ve used Uber many times with our two dogs and have never been denied a ride.
Lyft says that, “it’s entirely up to the driver whether or not to allow the passenger’s pet in the vehicle.” They advise passengers to notify their drivers ahead of time if they’ll be traveling with a dog.
We recommend keeping your dog on a leash or in a bag, and bringing a towel for clean up.