NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Leave your hoverboard at home if you plan to get anywhere near an MTA subway, bus, or commuter train. The MTA has banned the devices from all subways, buses, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, Staten Island Railway, and Access-A-Ride over safety concerns.
So-called hoverboards -- which don't actually hover -- are battery-powered, two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters that have been all the rage in recent months. They were among the hottest gifts given during the holidays.
But they can pose a fire hazard. The MTA cited a recent warning from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration that said that "lithium batteries can pose a heat, fire, and explosion risk." Numerous reports in recent months have chronicled hoverboards spontaneously catching fire. In some cases, the fire has severely damaged homes and injured owners.
"The safety of our customers and employees is always our top concern," MTA Chief Safety Officer David Mayer said in a statement. "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."
Hoverboard owners should note that the ban isn't just against riding the device on MTA property; you can't even have a hoverboard on you.
The MTA Police Department will enforce the ban on Metro-North, LIRR, and Staten Island Railway. The NYPD will enforce it on New York City's subways and buses.