If a bill introduced to Congress this week is passed, pets will (once again) be allowed onboard Amtrak trains.
According to ABCNews, The Pets on Trains Act of 2013 was introduced by Jeff Denham, R-Calif. and states:
Amtrak will designate one car of each train where passengers may transport “a domesticated cat or dog in the same manner as carry-on baggage” if the animal can be contained in a pet kennel and the kennel can be stowed in accordance with Amtrak size requirements for carry-on baggage.
This means that pets small enough to fit into carry-on sized luggage would be allowed inside a specially designated “pet car” while larger dogs would be kenneled and transported and stowed with luggage that exceeds carry-on size restrictions.
The bill also restricts the length of pet passenger trips to 750 miles or fewer and would include a pet fee.
In addition to creating a much-needed revenue stream for the struggling passenger train industry, the bill supports the role of pets as members of the family, providing additional options for those wanting to include them in travel. With the safety of airline travel for pets in question, the bill would also make traveling with pets an option for those pet parents that refuse to fly their dogs and cats in the cargo hold of an airplane.
Amtrak used to allow pets onboard, a policy that was discontinued in 1976 because, as Amtrak chief executive Joe Boardman told The Washington Post, “things got a little out of control.”
If passed, Amtrak will be forced to make some concessions. Will they need to make additional “bathroom break” stops, make changes in cleaning, will other pets besides cats and dogs be included in the new policy, etc.?
What’s your opinion on the proposed bill? Would you be more likely to travel by train if your dog could join you? Leave a comment!