Saw this guy arguing with an @MTA conductor about bringing his dog on the subway. Dude said the dog’s burlap sack was a bag; conductor said nope, wouldn’t let him on the train. @Gothamist @A_W_Gordon @2AvSagas #NYCSubway pic.twitter.com/qjgN5anKV3— Will Sabel Courtney (@WillSCourtney) April 7, 2019
New Rule Makes Life Ruff For Large Dogs
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is pretty clear on the matter. Since 2016, their policy has read, “No person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container.” The MTA clearly meant that only pets in small, hand-held pet carriers could ride the subway. In other words, “no big dogs allowed.” After all, how are you going to carry an 80-pound Labrador in a doggie carrier? And how are you supposed to do that while struggling through the crowds in the packed NYC subways?
Creative Solutions To The New Rule
But New Yorkers love a challenge. And they love their dogs! And once again, they lived up to their reputation for tenacity. They found a wide variety of creative (and entertaining) solutions. Tote bags and rucksacks were stretched to the breaking point. And the MTA rule was also pushed to its limits.
It’s No Fun Being The Exception!
Recently, however, a man found that he couldn’t quite squeeze his dog through the loophole. He was filmed by journalist Will Sabel Courtney on the subway platform at Carroll Street in Brooklyn. The video shows him arguing with a train conductor about whether he could board with his doggie. The dog was in a burlap sack, which the man had hoisted over his shoulder.
The driver, however, felt that this did not qualify as a bag. Witnesses report the conductor as saying, “That’s not a bag, that’s not a bag” just as the train was pulling out.
It is not an everyday occurrence when the MTA denies a ride to a doggie. As the wonderful pictures from eatliver.com show (see below), almost every conceivable type of doggie bag is waved through.
Hardnosed Enforcement Creates Headaches
In June 2018, the MTA briefly took a more hardline approach, advising a commuter on Twitter to call 911 if they saw a dog outside a bag on the subway. As if 911 didn’t have thousands of more important emergency calls to deal with. Twelve hours later, following a minor outcry, they quickly reversed the policy. The MTA admitted they had made a mistake, adding that 911 was only for emergencies.
And here are those pictures I promised you: