Cross-posted from the King County Water Taxi’s Captain’s Blog

Now boarding the West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi: cats, and dogs!

Starting today, January 12, our furry friends can ride with their pet parents.

Dogs greeting each other at Seacrest Dock
Neville (l) and Lake (r) greet each other at the Seacrest Dock

“With fast service and amazing views, the only thing missing from the Water Taxi was our furry friends. Now we’re welcoming well-behaved cats, dogs, and humans to come aboard and cross Elliot Bay,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “The Water Taxi remains a vital connection to downtown Seattle, especially now while the repairs to the West Seattle Bridge are still underway. Whether you’re on a bus or the Water Taxi, heading to the off-leash park or the veterinarian, King County Metro is ready to get pet parents and their floofs wherever they need to go.”

Animals must always be near their owner while riding:

  • Dogs riding on the Water Taxi must be on their best behavior and be either on a leash or in a crate. Leashed dogs can go outside on the aft deck throughout the trip. Dogs in crates can ride in any part of the vessel.
  • Cats must ride in an enclosed pet carrier within reach of their owner throughout the trip.
  • Service animals, such as dogs trained to perform specific functions to assist someone with a disability, are permitted in the passenger cabin with reasonable accommodations made as needed.
  • Emotional support animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA as they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task.

Where animals ride on the ship will be at the discretion of the Captain of the vessel. For example, a Captain could instruct passengers and pets to ride inside the cabin during bad weather.

Owners are expected to clean up after their pets while on the Water Taxi.
Animals that are not cats, dogs, or service animals will not be permitted on the Water Taxi.

KC Metro is riding the Water Taxi
KC Metro is ready for her close up as she get ready to get off the Water Taxi

The new pet policy, and the installation of bike racks that can accommodate “fat tire” and electric bikes, are the result of the Water Taxi staff listening and responding to the needs of our riders. A growing number of riders use the water taxi as an alternative to driving, but for some it only works if they can bring their bike or their pet for the trip.

The water taxi is on its winter sailing schedule, with the West Seattle route offering mid-day service seven-days-a-week service through an agreement between the City of Seattle and King County. Fares start at $5.75 for adults one way ($5.00 with an ORCA card). Customers with lower incomes, people with disabilities, seniors, and youth can apply for discount transit fares using the Reduced Fare Portal. You can get fare information on the Water Taxi webpage.