Service Animal Policy

  • Service animals must be on a leash or harness when you are on SEPTA vehicles (including paratransit) or in SEPTA buildings.
  • Passengers with service animals must keep the animal in control. Threatening behavior is a safety concern for other riders and is not allowed. Behavior includes:
  • Snarling/growling
  • Picking fights
  • Jumping up
  • Barking/vocalizing

(Exception: when a seizure alert animal is trained to alert by jumping up and pushing the owner down.)

  • The owner must direct their service animal. Other riders cannot hold a service animal’s leash.
  • Service animals must not block the vehicle aisle, travel paths, or rail car access.
  • Service animals are not allowed on passenger seating in vehicles or in SEPTA facilities.
  • Passengers with service animals must clean up after their animals when necessary. If the animal wears a diaper, the diaper must be changed regularly to prevent smells. Animals must be insect-free.
  • Service animals appearing abused or mistreated will be reported to the appropriate organizations for follow-up.

SEPTA staff is not allowed to take a service animal leash or harness. Staff may not take responsibility or interfere with the duties of service animals.

  • Passengers with animals must tell their vehicle operator or train crew member the preferred procedures for boarding and exiting for the passenger, service animal, and any mobility aid.
  • Passengers with animals must protect the service animal’s paws, nose, ears, tail, leash, harness, protective gear, or equipment from getting caught in bus, van, or rail car machinery. This could include lifts, ramps, doors, securements, and other machinery.
  • For safety reasons, it is not recommended passengers using mobility devices and service animals ride on wheelchair lifts at the same time.

Note: If the combined total weight of the mobility device, customer, and service animal is over 600 pounds, SEPTA vehicle lifts will not work.

Service animals in training are allowed in SEPTA facilities and on SEPTA vehicles when on a leash or harness. Service animals in training must follow all service animal rules. SEPTA recommends that service animals in training wear identifying gear. Passengers with animals may be asked for identification verifying you are a trainer or work with a training organization.

For group trips, call ahead of time at 215-580-3424 so operators and train crews can be informed. If you are traveling with one experienced animal and one in training, we recommend riding during off-peak hours.

Practice Session

Service animals and their owners or trainers can learn from training on public transportation. Arrangements can be made for service animal users and trainers to practice during off-peak hours onboard SEPTA buses, trolleys, rail, or subway cars. Animals can learn to board, exit, move through vehicles, ride vehicles, and get used to platform noise and station environments. Call 215-580-3424 to schedule a practice session.

Law enforcement or emergency response staff can bring their working animals on any SEPTA mode/route at any time if in uniform and with correct identification. Animals must follow all service animal rules during travel.

Consistent with U.S. Department of Transportation ADA regulations, the following animals are not considered service animals on transit and must be in a carrier:

  • Companion animals
  • Pets
  • Therapy animals
  • Comfort animals
  • Mental health and emotional support animals

For this reason, SEPTA personnel may ask you about your animal and the services it provides to you.

Individual Animal Training

For individual training trips, we suggest you contact SEPTA at least a week before your journey for assistance in planning your first trip or two. We can work with you to develop individual orientation and familiarization trips.

Arranging short practice rides during off-peak times will minimize anxiety for you and your service animal. After the initial travel, individual trips usually require no further special efforts and go smoothly.

As discussed in SEPTA’s Service Animal Policy, be aware when traveling with a service animal in training, you may be asked to verify that you are a service animal trainer or affiliated with a training organization.

Group trips must be arranged in advance. Typically, group trip requests must be submitted to SEPTA at least two weeks ahead.