Advisory group gives paws-up to (portable) pets on Metra

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Posted1/24/2015 7:31 AM

If you're a non-yipping, pleasant-smelling Yorkie who loves trains -- congratulations.

A Metra advisory group gave a paws-up to a proposal to allow pets on trains Friday, and the Metra board of directors is expected in February to vote on launching a test run on the Rock Island Line.


The move comes after a petition drive by Rhonda Church of Aurora. "Welcoming pets on Metra will not only be good for riders and pets but will encourage the use of Metra, which is good for the environment," Church advocated in her online petition.

Metra reached out to other transit agencies and found many permitted small pets in carriers, spokesman Michael Gillis said.

Metra could conduct a three-month pilot program on the Rock Island.

"Under the proposal, only small pets in enclosed carriers that can be hand-carried by their owners would be allowed. They'd have to be kept on the passenger's lap or under the seat and could not block the aisle," Gillis said.

"They could not be disruptive to other passengers due to factors such as noise, smell or aggressive behavior. We would reserve the right to remove passengers with pets that disturb others."

He noted that service animals assisting people with disabilities are allowed on Metra at all times.

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