Los Angeles Pet Travel Guide: Know the MTA “Metro” Pet Policies

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Association, known as LACMTA, MTA, or simply “Metro,” is surprisingly friendly to pet parents and their animals. While Los Angeles is primarily a driving city, the 2010 Census found that more than 1,008,000 households had a dog and nearly 1,025,000 had a cat. There are an estimated 2.6 million cats and dogs in the county. This means the majority of Los Angelinos own a pet or have a close friend who has a pet, making pet-friendly transit a priority.  

While the sprawling city still has a lot of work to do in terms of modernizing and expanding public transportation, the Metro does a good job of shuttling people and their pets all over the county. Here’s what you need to know about the Los Angeles Metro pet policy.

Los Angeles Metro Pet Policy

The Los Angeles Metro is similar to many urban rapid transit systems, especially when it comes to their pet policy. Pets and emotional support, therapy, comfort, and companion animals are all welcome aboard Metro, but they need to meet a few requirements.

  1. They must be secured in an enclosed carrier. This carrier cannot block the aisle or a doorway, and it cannot take up a seat when the car is crowded.
  • Correspondingly, the pet carrier and animal cannot deprive a customer of a seat.
  • The animal cannot interfere with the comfort and convenience of other passengers. This is a mostly behavioral note. If your dog isn’t good with strangers, or if your cat screams every time she’s put in the carrier, you might want to consider an alternative transit option.

The Metro service animal and pet policies apply to both Metro services, such as trains and busses, and at Metro facilities, like stations. Bus operators and other Metro representatives have the right to ask if the animal you are traveling with is a service animal required because of a disability. Similarly, they may ask what the animal has been trained to support.

Service Animals

On the Los Angeles Metro, service animals occupy a separate tier. All service animals are welcome to board Metro buses and trains, but the transit provider has a detailed definition of what they consider to be a service animal.

According to the Metro pet policy, service animals can be guide dogs for the blind or visually impaired, signal dogs for the hearing impaired, or other types of animals that can be individually trained to work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. The animal can either help perform functions and tasks for the person or provide psychiatric support. However, the dog must have special training for this psychiatric support to be considered a service animal.

The Metro pet policy also asserts that service animals should be trained to be calm and remain inobtrusive, and that the owner or handler must always be in control of the dog. Individuals may have more than one service animal and they do not require any special tags, identification, passes, or papers, as other public transit avenues may expect.

That said, the Los Angeles Metro asserts that pets and emotional support animals cannot be counted as service animals. Unless an animal is trained to support or assist a person, it must be in a cage or carrier for the duration of their trip.