NYC, MTA announce new initiative to stop subway surfing

The MTA and New York City are launching a new, comprehensive public information campaign to alert young people to the dangers of subway surfing. 

On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams and MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber gathered at the 33rd Street-Rawson Station 7 train subway station in Brooklyn to announce the campaign, the site where a 14-year-old boy was killed after falling while attempting to ride on top of a subway train.

The initiative is called "Subway Surfing Kills - Ride Inside, Stay Alive," and will center around using young people's voices to deter other teens from doing the dangerous stunt.

So far this summer, five teens have died subway surfing and the MTA has documented over 450 instances of the dangerous stunt between January and June of this year.


NYPD increasing subway-surfing patrols after teen's death

After a 14-year-old was killed in a subway surfing mishap on Thursday, the NYPD is stepping up security at subway stations citywide.

"The safety of New Yorkers is my top priority," Governor Hochul said. "Through this innovative partnership, young New Yorkers will hear directly from their teachers and peers about the extreme danger of subway surfing, saving lives and preventing more tragedies. New York will continue to do everything we can to keep our young people safe on the subways."  

"Riding outside a train car is subway stupidity and never ends well," Lieber said. "We are begging parents to speak with their children, and teachers to talk to their students about what can seem like a game but can end in tragedy."

According to MTA data, subway surfing generally happens during warmer months when school is in session, a kind of thrill-seeking after-school activity. 

In response, the new campaign will include public service announcements in stations recorded by students, digital signage across stations, student-created graphics and animations, posters and banners across stations and distributed in schools, and more.

The MTA is also asking social media companies like Meta, Google, and TikTok to take down videos of subway surfing, while also amplifying the new messaging campaign.

The NYPD will deploy officers to stations on outdoor elevated lines and conduct home visits with young people who have been seen subway surfing.