The MTA has just announced that they are banning hoverboards, those popular personal transportation devices that have co-opted the "hoverboard" name despite not having the ability to hover. Last year it was revealed that these things were illegal in NYC (including in the subway system), a law that didn't seem to be known by many, or enforced by the NYPD. Once it was brought to light, however, some politicians began pushing to make them legal in certain designated areas of NYC, including sidewalks. Mayor de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bratton have both expressed concern over making them legal here, and now it looks like Big Hoverboard has taken another hit with this MTA ban.
The MTA's announcement states that the "possession of hoverboards aboard trains or buses or at stations of the New York City Subway, New York City Buses, Long Island Railroad, Metro-North Railroad, Staten Island Railway or Access-A-Ride is prohibited."
The MTA has long prohibited wheeled devices like skateboards, skates, and scooters in their train stations. However, there's a secondary concern with hoverboards, as they've been known to burst into flames and blow up—the MTA notes that customers are prohibited from bringing "hazaradous and flammable materials into the public transportation network."
So whether you're riding them or not, it your potentially explosive hoverboards are no longer welcome on mass transit. The prohibition will supposedly be enforced by the MTA Police Department (on Metro-North, LIRR, and SI Railway), and the NYPD on trains and buses.
“The safety of our customers and employees is always our top concern,” MTA Chief Safety Officer David Mayer said. “For obvious reasons, it is not safe to use hoverboards, skateboards or other personal wheeled vehicles on station platforms. We’re equally concerned about the safety risk of bringing devices that pose fire hazards into the confined spaces inside trains and buses.”
The MTA plans to promote the ban through a new advertising campaign using "the now-famous 'bubble people'," according to the press release (we asked for a copy of this ad, but they don't have it yet).