Dear Joseph Boardman (President of Amtrak),
According to the rules about pets riding on a train, they are forbidden. Even service dogs have very strict regulations.
According to recent articles about the financial state of affairs with Amtrak, they are heavily subsidized by the government because it is not a profitable organization and one that some would like to eliminate, but as of yet has been determined that is an infrastructure that must be maintained as a nation.
I am proposing that Amtrak consider making a change that could be a very profitable win-win-win for Amtrak, the pet industry, small train communities, and the environment. I propose that you consider adding a "Pet Caboose" to each train. That is, add a car that allows owners to travel with their pets.
Many, many, many Americans love to travel with our pets. We vacation and we travel to dog events. This is very big business. It is too difficult for most travel with our pets by airplan, so most of us drive to our destinations with our pets. On any given day, there are probably thousands of vehicles using fuel that could be saved by allowing us to travel by Amtrak with our pets. Traveling by train would clean up congestion on the roads, help reduce car emissions, eliminate tired (possibly distracted) drivers from the roads, and even bring commerce to towns along the train routes, and even provide new related jobs at Amtrak.
Animal people would happily travel in a train car with other people who own pets. We love to socialize with other pet owers and pet owners are known to help each other with pet challenges. We would not be offended by noise, smells, allergies that may be the current reasons that Amtrak does not allow pets. We would likely travel in groups and would love to happily be seated next to our pets in some manner and follow rules of good behavior. There are plenty of us in the pet industry who would be eager to help to establish and maintain standards for this effort.
Many pet owners would travel long distances to destinations we would have never considered before due to the deterrent of long, exhausting drives. Friends would plan trips with friends. The potential to bring still more money back to hotels, motels, restaurants, and stores along train routes is completely untapped.
As most people know, the pet industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. Please consider a change to bring money and jobs to the railway industry and to provide what so many pet owners long for...a fun, doable way to travel with our pets. The logistics CAN be worked out.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to the possibility of a further conversation about this. I hope this petition will demonstrate to you just how many people are eager to see a change like this.
Sara Scott, Owner of West Coast Pets
San Diego, CA
Create "Pet Coaches" so that people can travel with their pets.
To create a win-win-win for pet owners, Amtrak, small train communities, and the environment.
Currently, Amtrak has a "no pets allowed" policy. Even Service Dogs are under very tight regulation, including the possibility of being stranded with a service dog should it misbehave.
Amtrak is currently subsidized by the government to the tune of several billion dollars a year. Many taxpayers see this as a waste of money and would like to see Amtrak shut down. This would be a shame. Train travel has a long history and it is a wonderful way to travel.
Additionally, many, many dog owners and dog organizations would like to be able to travel with their pets. They usually do, but as a nation, we are individually packing up our cars and RV rigs and spending money on precious fuel and we are often exhausted by the time we reach our destinations, when instead we could be helping the environment by "carpooling" on the train while enjoying the sites. Traveling by plane is possible, but it is very complicated.
We (pet owners) are willing to pay and would love to explore the country by train with our pets individually and as groups. The pet industry is a billion dollar per year industry. Many of us travel to pet events all over the country, and another segment of the pet owning population rely on complicated volunteer transport relay to get adoptable pets from one area of the country to another,.
By finding a way to work out the logistics we can bring the train industry back to life, potentially bring commerce back to train towns, create new jobs at Amtrak, and help the environment. We KNOW we can figure out a way to handle the logistics of sanely and safely combining people and pets to give the people what they want!
Thank you for listening to us, Mr. Boardman and Amtrak. Let's work together!