Guide to New MTA Subway Rules

What You Need to Know About Random Bag Checks and Drinking Coffee on the Subway

When you ride the subway these days, you better leave your coffee at home and be prepared for random bag searches. There are new rules for riding the New York City subways. Read up on the latest from the MTA before your next commute.

Random Bag Searches

In the wake of the terrorist attacks on the London subway system, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that police will begin performing random searches of subway riders’ bags and packages.
The MTA police will also conduct similar searches on suburban commuter trains.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said riders will ideally be searched before they pass through the turnstiles, but that commuters can also be searched once inside. He advised commuters to avoid bringing backpacks or bulky packages onto subway trains.

Mayor Bloomberg assured New Yorkers that there were no specific threats against the New York City subway system. However, New York has remained on a heightened state of alert since September 11, 2001.

New MTA Rules

Subway riders will also have to brave the morning commute without their coffee. In June, the MTA announced new rules for subway riders, effective in October. The rules forbid moving between cars, drinking coffee and other beverages, wearing inline skates, and resting feet on a subway seat -- among other dangerous activities. Rule breakers will be punishable by fines between $25 and $100.

Based on recent field research, it would appear that it’s still okay to sport offensive B.O. and grope your fellow riders.

More Information

MTA New York City Subway Map

New York Times on Subway Bag Checks

MTA Subway Rules of Conduct

Transit Advisor Subway Directions

New York City Office of the Mayor