Traffic

Are dogs allowed on local transit buses and trains?

This image provided by KOMO-TV shows Eclipse, a black Labrador. If her owner takes too long finishing his cigarette, and their bus arrives, she climbs aboard solo and rides to her stop, the dog park, to the delight of fellow Seattle bus passengers.
This image provided by KOMO-TV shows Eclipse, a black Labrador. If her owner takes too long finishing his cigarette, and their bus arrives, she climbs aboard solo and rides to her stop, the dog park, to the delight of fellow Seattle bus passengers. AP

Q: Can you bring your dog on Pierce Transit and Sound Transit?

A: Pet owners love bringing their dogs just about everywhere — so much so that the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department had to do a little regulating at some taprooms and breweries two years ago.

The inspiration for this column came from our neighbor to the north. The Seattle Times wrote a pretty hilarious and informative story last week about the pervasiveness of dogs on King County Metro buses that included a nod to the passive-aggressive nature of Seattle transit riders, and it got us at The News Tribune thinking.

We especially loved this line in the story: “Seattle: Obsessed with dogs, afraid of conflict.”

Apparently, dogs regularly board buses and even occupy seats in Seattle, and while small dogs ride for free, pet owners have to pay a fare for larger dogs.

The rules for bringing dogs on Pierce Transit appear to be slightly more strict: “Regular” dogs (meaning those that aren’t service animals) have to be kept in a container, like a pet carrier or pet stroller. If you’ve never seen a pet stroller, yes, that’s a real thing.

Service dogs don’t need to be kept in a container, but they can’t occupy a seat. There’s no fare for regular or service animals.

There was one exception recently, a Pierce Transit spokeswoman said. During the Downtown to Defiance and Gig Harbor summertime weekend trolley rides, well-behaved and leashed dogs have been allowed to ride at no extra charge. (Let’s be honest, much like children, everyone thinks their dog is well-behaved. But I digress.)

For Sound Transit passengers, the rules are similar. According to the rules for riding, “Service animals are allowed on Sound Transit buses and trains. Pets may ride if they are carried in small containers.”

I asked a spokeswoman, and she said there’s no specific measurement for what qualifies as a “small” container.

Candice Ruud: 253-597-8441, @candiceruud

  Comments