Rules > Use of the Transit System
(a) No person may perform any act which interferes with or may tend to interfere with the provision of transit service, obstructs or may tend to obstruct the flow of traffic on facilities or conveyances, or interferes with or may tend to interfere with the safe and efficient operation of the facilities or conveyances of the Authority.
(b) No person, unless duly authorized by the Authority, shall engage in any commercial activity upon any facility or conveyance. Commercial activities include (1) the advertising, display, sale, lease, offer for sale or lease, or distribution of food, goods, services or entertainment (including the free distribution of promotional goods or materials); and (2) the solicitation of money or payment for food, goods, services or entertainment. No person shall panhandle or beg upon any facility or conveyance.
(c) Except as expressly permitted in this subdivision, no person shall engage in any nontransit uses upon any facility or conveyance. Nontransit uses are noncommercial activities that are not directly related to the use of a facility or conveyance for transportation. The following nontransit uses are permitted by the Authority, provided they do not impede transit activities and they are conducted in accordance with these rules: public speaking; campaigning; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration; artistic performances, including the acceptance of donations; solicitation for religious or political causes; solicitation for charities that: (1) have been licensed for any public solicitation within the preceding 12 months by the Commissioner of Social Services of the City of New York under section 21-111 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York or any successor provision; (2) are duly registered as charitable organizations with the Attorney General of New York under section 172 of the New York Executive Law or any successor provision; or, (3) are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code or any successor provision. Solicitors for such charities shall provide, upon request, evidence that such charity meets one of the preceding qualifications.
(1) Permitted nontransit uses may be conducted in the transit system except: (A) when on or within: a subway car; an omnibus; or, any area not generally open to the public; (B) within a distance of 25 feet of a station booth, or a fare media sales device including but not limited to a fare media vending machine; or, (C) within a distance of 50 feet from the marked entrance to an Authority office or tower. (D) The following activities are not subject to the minimum distance requirements as set forth in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of this paragraph: public speaking; leafletting or distribution of written noncommercial materials; campaigning; and, activities intended to encourage and facilitate voter registration, provided, that with respect to any of the activities described in this subparagraph, no sound production device is used and no physical obstruction, such as a table or other object, is present within a distance of 25 feet of a station booth or fare media sales device, or 50 feet from the marked entrance to an Authority office or tower.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any activity in a location which interferes with the access onto or off of an escalator, stairway or elevator, or otherwise interferes with or impedes transit services or the movement of passengers, is prohibited.
(3) No activity permitted by the authorization contained in this section shall be conducted on a subway platform where construction, renovation or maintenance work is underway on or near the platform, or on or near the staircases, escalators, or elevators leading to such platform and including any such work in or near track areas.
(4) No activity is permitted which creates excessive noise or which emits noise that interferes with transit operations. The emission of any sound in excess of 85 dBA on the A weighted scale measured at five feet from the source of the sound or 70 dBA measured at two feet from a station booth is excessive noise and is prohibited. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the use on subway platforms of amplification devices of any kind, electronic or otherwise, is prohibited.
(5) No person shall use media devices such as films, slides or videotapes.
(6) Where an activity permitted by the authorization contained in this section includes the use of a sound production device, no person shall begin or continue the use of such sound production device during any announcement made over the public address system or by a New York City police officer or by an Authority employee.
(7) No person shall misrepresent through words, signs, leaflets, attire or otherwise such person’s affiliation with or lack of affiliation with or support by any organization, group, entity or cause, including any affiliation with or support by the Authority or the Metropolitan Transportation Authority or any of their programs, such as Music Under New York or Arts for Transit.
(8) Any person using the transit system for nontransit activities permitted pursuant to this rule does so at his or her own risk, and the Authority assumes no liability by the grant of this authorization.
(d) All persons on or in any facility or conveyance of the Authority shall:
(1) comply with all lawful orders and directives of any New York City police officer or Authority employee acting within the scope of his or her employment;
(2) obey any instructions on notices or signs duly posted on any Authority facility or conveyance; and
(3) provide accurate, complete and true information or documents requested by New York City police officers or Authority personnel acting within the scope of their employment and otherwise in accordance with law. A farecard issued according to specified eligibility criteria that entitles the lawful holder thereof to a reduced fare or free transportation must have the name of the eligible holder clearly visible on the card and any person holding such farecard must comply with a request of Authority personnel or a New York City police officer to physically inspect such farecard.
(e) No person shall refuse or fail to relinquish a seat on a conveyance which has been designated as “PRIORITY SEATING,” “WHEELCHAIR PRIORITY SEATING” or words of similar import, if requested to do so by or on behalf of a person with a disability, or occupying any location on a conveyance designated for use by persons using wheelchairs if such location is required to accommodate a person using a wheelchair. Further, passengers aboard buses equipped with wheelchair lift devices shall not conduct themselves in a manner which will impede the operation of such lifts, impede the securing of wheelchairs in the tie-down devices located on such buses or impede the exit of passengers using wheelchairs.
(f) No person shall bring or carry onto a conveyance any liquid in an open container.
(g) No person shall falsely represent himself or herself as an agent, employee or representative of the Authority or falsely represent himself or herself as a member of the New York City Police Department.