MTA chairman takes bite out of food ban proposal
Bon appetit, straphangers.
After two MTA board members Monday said they wanted to nix noshing in the subway, MTA Chairman Jay Walder said yesterday a restriction on food and beverages isn’t on the menu.
“This is a system that carries five million people a day. I’m not sure a ban on food is really practical or enforceable,” he told reporters.
Board member Charles Moerdler suggested the idea while talking about how subway litter attracts rodents and causes track fires. Transit Committee Chairmwoman Doreen Frasca eagerly agreed, but said she didn’t plan on asking the board to adopt a ban.
Moerdler acknowledged yesterday that prohibiting food would be tough to enforce and should only be implemented as a last resort. People first need to be educated about throwing away their trash, he said.
“The real issue isn’t eating in the subway,” he said. “You don’t throw plates on the platform, and wrappers on the seat.”
Washington, D.C.’s Metro has banned food since the system opened in the 1970s, so most people have no problem complying, Deputy Chief of Transit Police Ron Pavlik said.
Fines for violating it range from $5 to $50.
“We have a happier customer base,” because of the ban, he said. “They don’t have to worry about sitting down in spilled soda, and we are pretty rat-free. We’re proud of it.”