If you litter on the subway, the fine you face will soon double.
The penalty for littering in the subway system will jump from $50 to $100 beginning next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced, as part of an effort to prevent delays, flooding and fires caused by debris on the tracks.
The MTA will run a public awareness campaign to educate riders on the impact littering has on public safety.
“Littering in subways isn’t just rude, dangerous and illegal,” the campaign will say, according to the MTA. “It’s un-New York and it makes everyone late, including you. Garbage can cause track fires and flooding, resulting in major delays. Plus, added enforcement means littering will cost you a $100 fine. So do your part as a good New Yorker and dispose of waste properly. Keep New York moving. Remember: it’s our MTA.”
Trash in the subway system contributes to 700 fire-related incidents on the tracks every year, according to the transit authority. Litter can also lead to flooding because it affects how the subway system handles the millions of gallons of water pumped through daily.
“As water flows through the track bed, it collects debris that clogs grated track drains, which in turn causes water to pool on the track bed, accelerating breakdown of the track plates and railroad ties,” according to the MTA. “As pooling increases and the water level rises, it interacts with subway signal equipment – turning signals red and stopping trains on the track. As the water level increases further, it touches the third rail, severely impairing the electrical system.”
In the last six months alone, incidents like these that stem from standing water conditions have increased by 56 percent, compared to the same time period last year.
The raised fines go into effect next Thursday.
“Littering is not only illegal but dangerous and directly causes hundreds of thousands of delays, inconveniencing millions of New Yorkers,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This initiative will help stop littering-related delays at the source, improving reliability and helping the MTA deliver the subway service that New Yorkers deserve.”