Amtrak has extended and expanded its pets program, allowing customers to continue traveling with their small pets on many eastern corridor trains. Amtrak continues to welcome service animals on board at no charge.
Amtrak has also added this service for trips up to 7 hours in length to most long distance trains beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16, and is starting a weekend-only pilot program on Acela Express starting, Saturday, Feb. 20.
As a result of the overwhelming success of its pilot test, Amtrak has made its program permanent on eastern and select mid-western corridor trains and expanded the program to its long distance trains throughout the nation (with the exception of the Auto Train). More than 2,700 pets have traveled with their human companions along the Northeast Corridor since the pilot launched in October 2015. Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. were the top departure cities.
“We are excited to bring this service to more of our passengers throughout the country who want to travel with these cherished family members,” said Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman. “We listened to our passengers and delivered on this program, which will also help increase ridership and revenue.”
“Expanding the Pets on Trains program nationwide is a win for Amtrak and for millions of American pet owners who can now depend on their rail service for their travel needs,” said Rep. Jeff Denham of California, who introduced the Pets on Trains legislation in 2013 and later established a working group with Amtrak to encourage the policy expansion. “I look forward to seeing the program's success across the country.” The Pets on Trains Act of 2015 was signed into law last year.
The Acela Express pilot program, which is initially scheduled through June 12, 2016, will be regularly reviewed for possible improvements or continuation beyond that date.