The other day I was trying to cut across Boston faster than usual when I decided to catch a cab; with my dog. As I stood on the side of the street trying to figure out which taxis were empty and which were occupied (Why don’t they turn the for hire lights on and off like New York taxis?), I began to recognize it was taking longer than usual. It was the fear in one passing driver’s eyes as he spotted the dog that I realized there must be a better way to find a dog friendly taxi in Boston.
So, I just spent the day on the phone with the city of Boston and a bunch of the different Boston Taxi companies trying to come up with a better way to catch a cab with your dog and this is what I learned…
The City of Boston does not require taxi drivers to take dog’s into their cabs unless it is a service dog. Service dogs always have the right to move about without discrimination. Otherwise, it is left up to the taxi drivers or companies. In the end the driver makes the final decision whether the dog rides or not. A taxi driver is not required to take any fare if they feel there safety is at stake.
After a few good conversation about the matter here is the best advice I can offer someone trying to find a pet friendly taxi:
1) Call a taxi dispatcher instead of trying to hail a cab
Instead of standing on the street hoping someone will stop, call one of the taxi companies and they will come to you. Odds are they have a car just around the block if you are in Boston. In the end it can be much faster to just make a call. Keep one or two of the numbers below on your cell phone in advance.
If there is a taxi stand nearby walk over and start at the front of the line asking who will take you and your dog. This is also a way for a driver to see your well behaved dog.
2) When you call a taxi, be honest about the dog
The main thing I learned from speaking with dispatchers and company owners was the need for people to be honest about traveling with a dog when they call in. If they know in advance the dispatcher can send a dog friendly taxi driver. There are other cab drivers who are deathly afraid of dogs. If a taxi driver fears for his safety or damage to their cab they do not have to take the fare. Which will result in waiting for a different taxi to arrive. Just be honest so the dispatcher can send the right car.
3) When it is raining or sloppy out it is tougher to find a taxi
Many taxi drivers take pride in their cars or have brand new hybrids rather than the older taxi cabs. If your dog is a mess it is going to be tough to find someone to give you a ride. Remember they are not required to take a fare if their taxi is going to be damaged. Simply being pleasant and bringing something to wipe the seats off can go a long way in catching a cab in Boston’s wet weather with a dog.
Here are a few Boston taxi companies which stood out as “Dog Friendly”
Metro Cab | 617-782-5500 | Serving Boston
It is common to see Metro Cab’s taxis with green lettering. They will take you and your dog. The best way is to call and tell them your needs.
Town Taxi | 617-536-5000 | Serving Boston and New England
I have taken Town Taxi on Cape Cod numerous times with my dog. What I did not know is that they serve a good part of New England. In Boston they can’t scoop you off the street but you can call and they will pick you up. Outside of Boston, Town Taxi has a pretty good footprint.
Green and Yellow | 617-628-0600 | Serving Boston
Green and Yellow Taxi has plenty of drivers that will gladly pick you and your dog up. Once again, you do need to give them notice so they can send the right driver. I spoke with one of the managers/owners at great length, who is a dog owner himself, who helped point me in the right direction on this article.
Southie Taxi | 617-269-4444 | South Boston & They Know Where You Live….
Michael Carter of Southie Taxi has gone out of his way to reach out to dog owners and the need for a pet friendly taxi service. Even if you were not in South Boston I am sure he would send a cab to help you and your dog to their next destination. If nothing else, his hard edged South Boston attitude of getting the job done is refreshing.
City Water Taxi | 617-422-0392 | Serving Boston’s Waterfront and Logan Airport
Why sit in traffic when you can take a water taxi across Boston Harbor to one of the many water taxi stops on Boston’s waterfront, including the airport. Your dog is always welcome on the water taxi as long as they are leashed. I beautiful way to see Boston and operates all year.
Here are the Taxi Dispatch Companies In Boston
- Town Taxi – 617-536-5000
- Boston Cab – 617-536-5010
- ITOA, Indépendant Assoc.- 617-825-4000
- City Cab – 617-536-5100
These dispatch companies work with hundreds independent drivers. If you know of a driver who is outstanding please feel free to add them to the comment section and I will build a database.