Service Animals

Assisting passengers with service animalsYou must allow service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities in vehicles and facilities.

The U.S. Department of Justice recently amended its definition of a service animal to include only dogs and miniature horses. The U.S. Department of Transportation continues to define a service animal as “any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability, including, but not limited to, guiding individuals with impaired vision, alerting individuals with impaired hearing to intruders or sounds, providing animal protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, or fetching dropped items.” This is the definition with which the operators of public transit service must comply, and it can be found in Section 37.3 of 49 CFR Part 37- Transportation Services for Individuals with Disabilities (ADA).

Photo credit: Ann Bernick, Melbourne, FL.

You may ask if an animal is a service animal or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but you cannot require special ID cards for the animal or ask about the person’s disability. 

Easter Seals Project ACTION has many resources available that give information about service animals and interacting with passengers who travel with service animals.   Please see this Resource Library results list.

The FTA Transit Bus Safety Program’s Resource Library also has a list of documents on this subject that you can access by going to their website and typing in ‘service animals’ in the keywords search field.


Section sources