You can’t be too drunk. You can’t carry a cup of water. And you can’t hold the closing doors for that guy who’s running down the stairs.
These are just a few of the more obscure MTA rules that, while somewhat ambiguous and often broken, are rarely enforced. Some are ignored so often people don’t even realize they are breaking the rules.
“People do it all the time, I think they’re kind of stupid laws,” said Carroll Gardens resident Martha Bordman, 62, remarking on the rule that bans commuters from carrying objects that interfere with passenger traffic. “People take the subway in New York, they don’t have cars. I understand why people need to schlep their stuff around.”
John Goldschmidt, 27, called some of the rules “kind of silly” but said it ultimately depends on the circumstances.
“They need to be more specific with what the rules are,” said the actor.
Goldschmidt was commuting with his wife, Maria, 2-year-old daughter, Mia — and Mia’s stroller.
“The train was about to leave and she was still coming down,” said Maria Goldschmidt, 25, adding they held the door for little Mia. “I never thought of it — I didn’t know that fines exist for that.”
Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesman, said the rules in question help maintain order and create a “safe and pleasant” riding experience.
“These rules are established to promote safety, to facilitate the proper use of transit facilities, to protect those transit facilities and our customers, and to assure the payment of fares and other lawful charges,” Ortiz said in an email. “In other words, to make riding our system as safe and pleasant an experience as possible for our customers.”
Number of subway fines issued in 2015 (and fine amount):
Obstruction of seating: 3,066 ($50)
Interfering with movement: 168 ($100)
Impairment by alcohol or drugs: 8 ($50)
Causing annoyance: 26 ($50)
Liquid in open container: 16 ($25)
Littering, etc.: 619 ($50)
Unauthorized commercial activity: 882 ($50)
Carrying obstructive object: 1 ($75)