Dogs allowed on GO Trains as part of pilot project

A new Metrolinx pilot project is allowing man's (and woman's) best friend to ride alongside their pet parents on GO trains.

Starting Friday July 20, passengers will be allowed to bring up to two dogs along with them, as long as they're on a leash.

Their travel is restricted to certain hours, though. On weekdays, they can ride from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and then again from 6:30 p.m. until the last train of the day. There are no time restrictions on weekends. 

In addition, passengers and their dogs must be seated on the lower levels of the trains, as they are not permitted on the second level. 

Previously, dogs were only allowed on the trains if they were inside a carrier, regardless of their size. All other animals - including cats, birds, rodents and reptiles - must still be kept inside carriers.

In the case of accidents, Metrolinx says passengers are told to pick up after their dogs but not to dispose the waste in train garbage cans, and perhaps the most important rule - keep the dog off the seats. 

The pilot project is set to end on October 15, but Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told the Toronto Star there are plans for it to continue if it runs with no incidents.