MTA chair weighs food ban after track fire

After trash sparked a track fire, Lhota says messy commuters who toss around food waste could be to blame.
Published : July 19, 2017 Updated : July 19, 2017
Workers clean litter out of subway tracks. (MTAPhotos via Flickr)

While New Yorkers are notorious for eating on the go, the MTA is considering a ban on certain types of foods in the subway.

 

During a news conference in Penn Station, MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said the agency is debating “what foods are appropriate and what foods are not" after trash started a serious track fire earlier this week.

 

The MTA seems to believe a drastic measure such as a food ban could cut down on waste on the tracks, stamping out more fires before they start.

 

In his remarks, Lhota noted his observations of messy commuters who spill food, recounting a recent scene when a straphanger on the No. 2 train was munching from a container of Chinese food packed with “a lot of rice” that began to spill. “It was all over the place,” Lhota said.

 

However, Lhota says he follows the rules. “I still have a coffee cup when I get on the subways usually,” he said. “I hold onto it when I finish my coffee, and I throw it out when I leave the train.”

The conference was held in the wake of a Harlem track fire earlier this week that left multiple people suffering from smoke inhalation, and delayed and suspended service for hundreds of commuters.

While no decisions on food regulations have been made, Lhota said the MTA may begin a program to educate the public on what kinds of foods are suitable for commuters.

 
Latest From ...
Most Popular From ...