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Pets / Service Animals

Riding with a Service Animal

Service animals provide important assistance to individuals with disabilities. Your service animal and/or service animal-in-training is welcome on board Rio Metro buses and trains at no additional charge. 

service dogWhat is a Service Animal*?

  • 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 an individual with a disability
  • A service animal must always be under the control of the owner or handler
  • Service animals require no special tag, identification, certification, papers, harness, vest, cape, or pass

*See Electronic Federal Code of Regulations (e-CFR) Title 49 Part §37.3.

Examples of Work & Tasks the Service Animals Can Perform

  • Guiding individuals with visual impairments
  • Alerting individuals who are hard of hearing or deaf to intruders or sounds
  • Providing minimal protection or rescue work
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Fetching dropped items
  • Alerting individuals with seizure disorders to an oncoming seizure, or responding to a seizure

Please be aware that a rail or bus operator or other Rio Metro representatives may ask if the animal is a service animal and what task the animal has been trained to perform. 

What is NOT a Service Animal?

  • Pets are not service animals
  • Emotional support, therapy, comfort, and companion animals are not service animals, as they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task

Control of Your Service Animal

You must keep your service animal under control at all times. The animal should always be on a leash, harness or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of his/her disability to use a harness, leash or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash or other tether would interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler's control.

Train conductors may require you to remove your service animal en route or from the station premises if:

  1. The animal is out of control and you do not take effective action to control it (for example, a dog causes a significant disturbance by barking repeatedly and uncontrollably or is not housebroken)
  2. The animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others

If you are asked to remove your service animal, but you would like to remain on the premises and/or continue travel without the animal, you must make arrangements for another person or local animal control to accept custody of your animal.

Service Animal Must Remain on Floor

A service animal must sit under the passenger's seat or at his or her feet. Service animals are not allowed to sit in the aisle or on seats.

Note:  These service animal guidelines apply on Rio Metro services and at Rio Metro facilities. Different rules may apply in other public places.