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Amtrak Pet Policy: Pilot Program to Allow Cats and Dogs on Board

Pilot program being tested in Illinois


An Amtrak pet policy is being testing that would allow dogs and cats under 20 pounds on board passenger trains.


The pilot program is beginning in Illinois.

Between May 5 and Nov. 2, the Chicago to Quincy, Ill., line (a some 4.5 hour trek) would allow pets with a $25 fee.

One or two cars would be reserved for the pets — to keep them away from those who do not want to be near pets or those allergic.

The move is part of the Carry-On Pet pilot program.

Via the Chicago Sun-Times:

Amtrak is “supportive” of accommodating pets on trains and “we are optimistic a plan
can be reached to address the needs and concerns of all our passengers,’’ Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman said in a news release.

The agency is collaborating on the project with the Illinois Department of Transportation, which funds Amtrak, and a working group led by U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham, a California Republican, who has been pushing for a nationwide pets-on-trains law.

“We in Illinois welcome this exciting new pilot program, which is something that has been suggested by train passengers,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider in a press release. “By listening to and accommodating all passengers, I am hopeful we can create a long-term policy that allows pets on trains and makes traveling on Amtrak even more appealing to a wider audience.”

Pets would need to remain in the carriers while on board.

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