The Scoop

Think, McFly! Hoverboards Not Allowed on LIRR

The Metropolitan Transportation Agency announced Wednesday that hoverboards are banned from the Long Island Rail Road as well as New York City subways and buses.

“The MTA’s safety rules have long prohibited the use of personal wheeled vehicles, such as skateboards, skates or scooters, in train stations,” the MTA states “The rules of conduct also prohibit customers from possessing hazardous or flammable materials into the public transportation network, and the lithium-ion batteries used to power hoverboards pose the risk of fire.”

That’s right, those so-called hoverboards—which don’t actually hover and are more accurately described as self-balancing two-wheeled boards—are prohibited. Hoverboards received notoriety last year after a number of boards reportedly exploded or caught fire, in some cases burning down houses. The lithium ion batteries were blamed, and retailers such as Amazon refused to keep selling the boards.

The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration recently issued an alert that “under certain conditions, lithium batteries can pose a heat, fire, and explosion risk,” and found that 80% 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,” says 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, American regional railroads including Chicago’s Metra and Los Angeles’ Metrolink, and most U.S. airlines.

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