News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
March 3, 2021
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News + Views

$250 Fine for Subway Eating

By Lisa M. Collins

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Certainly you’ve heard the state legislature is considering placing a $250 fine on the act of eating in the subway. Proposed by Senator Bill Perkins, D-Manhattan, the measure is aimed at cutting down on the city’s growing subway rat population. Last year the MTA dropped discussion of such a ban after folks went nuts, but Perkins is pushing the matter. His report, Rat Attack!, surveyed residents of his northern Manhattan district and found that 87 percent saw rats on a daily or weekly basis, including 150 people who had seen rats on the trains, and laid out the obvious disease-spreading threats of these creatures, who surely inhabit a Byzantine empire under our train system.

Of course, eating on the subway has long been against MTA’s suggested rules of conduct on the trains, but people ignore it all the time. I was privy to a very entertaining battle over eating on the subway, in which an elderly woman called a teenage girl an “animal” for eating her chinese food on the subway, and the teen girl and her friend got all up in arms, and it was a standoff, with men helping to restrain the various parties.

It’s most often pretty gross when people eat on the train. The smell, the sight, the sounds—not so great. A whole website, Train Pigs, is dedicated to pillorying people who eat on the train.

I myself have thought negative things about people eating on the subway–chomping away, filling the enclosed car with smells of grease, slurping, while all of us sit there, trapped–but I’m grumpy about that kind of stuff.

To read the bill, click here.


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