FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Leave your hoverboard at home: That was the message from Metro-North as it announced a ban Thursday on hoverboards on its trains and at its stations.
Calling the hoverboards a fire risk, the Metropolitan Transportation Agency has banned possession of them aboard trains and buses as well as at stations of Metro-North. The ban extends to the New York City Subways, New York City Buses, Long Island Rail Road and Staten Island Railway and Access-A-Ride.
The MTA is promoting the ban through a new advertising campaign with the “bubble people,” with the headline: Hoverboards Not Allowed.
The MTA’s safety rules have long prohibited the use of personal wheeled vehicles, such as skateboards, skates or scooters, in train stations. The rules also prohibit customers from possessing hazardous or flammable materials, and the lithium-ion batteries used to power hoverboards pose a risk of fire.
Hoverboards are regulated by the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration. The administration recently issued an alert “under certain conditions, lithium batteries can pose a heat, fire, and explosion risk,” and found that 80 percent of hoverboards in a study did not have proper certification of battery testing.
“The safety of our customers and employees is always our top concern,” said MTA Chief Safety Officer David Mayer. “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 prohibition on hoverboards will be enforced by the MTA Police Department on Metro-North, the LIRR, and Staten Island Railway, and by the New York City Police Department on New York City’s subways and buses.
Hoverboards have been banned by Amtrak, many American regional railroads including Chicago’s Metra and Los Angeles’ Metrolink, and most U.S. airlines.
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