Valley Metro is proud to allow service animals alongside passengers who require help getting around.

With that said, service animals must be under the control of their handlers. They must also not block seats or aisles on Valley Metro trains, buses and paratransit, and handlers are responsible for any damage caused by a service animal. 

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, transit personnel may ask if an animal is a service animal, and what task the service animal is trained to perform. If the animal’s handler cannot answer what service the animal provides, or if the animal is not trained to help assist people with daily living, it will be subject to the same policy as pets.

The Service Animal Policy states:

“’Companion Animal’ (also referred to as ‘comfort animal’ or ‘therapy animal’): means an animal which may provide a sense of well-being, comfort or companionship to a person (including individuals with disabilities) but which is not individually trained to perform specific tasks of daily living to assist people with disabilities. Companion animals are subject to Valley Metro’s policies and procedures for transporting pets. Companion animals are not the same as service animals, and they do not have the same rights as service animals to board and ride Valley Metro buses, light rail vehicles and Dial-a-Ride vehicles.”  

Riders cannot be asked about their disability or required to show medical documents, a special ID card or training documentation for their animal.

Some examples of the duties that service animals perform include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair and alerting and protecting someone who is having a seizure. 

As far as bringing non-service animals on trains, buses and paratransit, animals must be carried inside an enclosed and secured cage or carrying case that is small enough to fit on a passenger’s lap. So, if you’d like to bring your gerbils in a small, enclosed carrier, feel free, but the animals must not endanger or disturb other riders or Valley Metro workers. 

We welcome you and your service animal on Valley Metro trains, buses and paratransit. The link to our service animal web page is valleymetro.org/service-animals. 

Service animals on Valley Metro trains, buses and paratransit
Mark Carlson
Operations Communications Specialist
Mark Carlson is an Operations Communications Specialist with Valley Metro. He brings 40 years of newsroom experience to his new position including working as a newsroom supervisor for 23 years with The Associated Press in Washington, D.C. and Phoenix. In addition to serving as a writer, editor, anchor and reporter for radio stations in Phoenix and Los Angeles, he also worked as a television assignment editor and digital news writer and editor in Phoenix and Baltimore. Mark attended Arizona State University majoring in sociology, communications and religion.