MTA Chief Jay Walder Rejects Food & Drink Ban In Subways

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Eat, drink, and take the subway New York.

Metropolitan Transit Authority Chairman Jay Walder has nixed the idea of banning food and drink in the subway.

MTA board member Charles Moerdler floated the idea after a number of recent videos surfaced showing food fights and vermin on trains. Fellow board member Doreen Frasca reportedly called it a “swell idea.”

Walder said “I’m not sure a ban on food is really practical or enforceable.”

Food is also blamed for attracting rats and other critters. Litter from the food is blamed for causing fires.

The MTA carts some 90 tons of trash from the subway system each day. Not surprising, since it also handles some five million riders daily.

As of now, the agency encourages riders not to eat or drink on subways or station platforms, but the practice is not illegal.

A recent brawl on a Brooklyn train started over a teenage girl eating spaghetti from a plastic foam container.


Pigeons, dogs, and rats are all fans of the largest subway system in the country.

Sometimes they’re found on subway platforms, in subway cars, and even on fellow passengers.

Back in January, video uploaded to YouTube showed a rat running down a subway car and climbing onto the seats before climbing up to a sleeping rider’s face.



What do you think about eating on the subway? Leave a comment below…

  • Rich

    if Walder would ride one of his buses he would see signs sprcifically saying that food and drink are not allowed.

  • Steve

    Come on Jay – it might not be enforceable, but it’s the principle of the matter. . . do you really want more rats in the subway? It’s already disgusting enough (what sick person would actually want to eat there?).

  • woody3691



  • woody3691

    The Skytrain and subway in Bangkok, Thailand have no smoking and no drinking or eating rules. Hey guess what? They work. The platforms, tracks and subway cars are immaculate. No litter, gum marks on the pavement, graffiti etc. The PA system works and you can actually understand what’s coming over the loud speakers. The cars are all air conditioned and each car has several video monitors playing ads and displaying train stations. And little or no crime. But that would never work in NYC. Why? People riding the subways in NYC don’t respect other people and certainly not city property. Too bad. People get what they deserve.



  • Ss

    The young girl was quietly, neatly, eating her food minding her own business not bothering anyone. Why did the other woman have to intervene w/ her 2cents?

  • Charles

    Why is everyone worrying about food and drinks? What we should all be worrying about are the fares. Is too damn expensive!

    • Art S

      And one reason they are so high is the cost of cleaning up food and getting rid of rats, etc. Just wait till there’s a fight because someone spilled coffee on someone else’s new $500 coat and refuses to pay for it. Duh!

  • Gregg

    So we continue having more food trash and dirt on the subways and buses ! I was on a bus in NYC last night and there were two seats with spilled drink and food that people left and on a crowded bus of course no one was taking those seats ! Pigs !


    it just shows the ignorance of the 2. and graduating to ghetto trash is a high standard but reaching for the stars is the american dream, seriously the woman was just informing them of the rule & then the other 2 got defiant, where was N.y finest. Oh yeah they got laid off. good job. maybe couldve prevented this.

  • Hershey Soup?

    There was a smelly brown liquid, pooling on the seat.
    Diarrhea from a sick person perhaps?

    • Need to Know

      Was there bits of corn int it?

  • Adowe Osman

    KRAMER: Oh, Queensboro Plaza. This stop is famous for its gyros, you want one?

    ELAINE: How are you gonna get something and get back on the train in time?

    KRAMER: Well, they got a stand right out on the platform. Gyros are cooked, and wrapped, and ready to go. Three dollars, no change. You want one?

    ELAINE: No thanks.

    KRAMER: Alright, but no bites.

  • Kevin

    Give her a break. Maybe she is in between jobs and only has time to eat going from one job to another. It’s the freaking subway for crying out loud. As long as she disposes the trash properly. Maybe we need more trash bins?

    • Art S

      What happens when someone spills coffee or food on someone else’s new $500 coat and refuses to pay for it? Either a fight will breakout or a lawsuit against the MTA will occur. I myself would sue.

    • Ted

      The subway is NOT a dining car FOOL!!!

    • Jim

      What are you new in town? Who would hire a dumb, lou, low class thug like that?

  • basta!

    I am so sick of seeing this picture of this girl with her spaghetti. Enouch already. We need to be more concerned with safety. I don’t care about someone eating next to me I am concerned with getting to work safely. ENOUGH of this same subject.

    • Art S

      If the person eating next to you spills coffee or sauce all over you and refuses to pay to clean it or replace it, I guarantee you would be singing a different tune about eating on trains.

  • jerseyjoey

    HaHaaaa, this boils down to the old fact that New Yorkers cant wait all minute. Instead of devoting time to eat in their hectic day in their little daily planners on their busy texting cell phones while surfing the web for a used lexus they just have no common sense or concern for others around them. Think you can wait to eat if not you need a chill break or a vacation to slow down but dont vacation At the Jersey Shore they hate NYC there.

  • Roach

    Garbage Breeds Garbage , Stupid People Do Stupdit Things – THEY KEEP MULTIPYING TOO…

    • Rodin


  • Ste

    A ban on food is no less enforceable than the ban on music or the ban on using more than one seat. I saw a girl on the train a few weeks ago eating sunflower seeds and spitting the shells on the seat and the floor. Totally classless and disgusting. I wonder if she does that at home.

    • Get up, stand up


      Did you get up and slap her around? If not, you failed.

      • Ste

        Sorry. Guess I’m a failure. :(

  • blackwomen

    the women should be ticketed, 20hr community work for her. she need to be educated.

  • Jimmy

    The MTA actually serves booze on the LIRR and then the drinkers get off at their station and into their cars to drive home.

    • J

      Your so right, their faces are so red while their drinking. I wonder if you brought your own scotch and had a shot if you could be ticketed for drinking in public? That would be an interesting case. Four our socialist regime!

      • Rodin

        Socialists make better drinkers cuz we socialize more.

        BTW, DO you know what Socialism is or did you just pick up the word from Tea Partiers and other unsociables?

      • Rodin

        PS –

        “FOUR (?) our socialist regime….”

        Where’d you pick up your spelling?

  • avatect

    I can understand if someone has the munchies and wishes to nibble on a chocolate bar or some chips, but to settle down with a plate of spaghetti, chinese food or pizza is just disgusting, classless and disrespectful. Nine of ten times, what’s left over never seems to make it to a trash can, regardless of how many trash cans there are on the platform, and instead ends up being left on the seat and floor. Then come the rodents. Not sure why the MTA gets blame whenever there’s a dirty train.

  • Trish

    Jay Welder does not care, he has a limo drive him all around town.

  • StormsNYC

    I’d hate to see someone slip on a banana peel and fall onto the tracks…

  • Matt

    Gee, I wonderwhy he would come to that decision?

  • fern

    food and drinks should be banned on trains period.
    A little shock, a push or a shove and whoops somebody lands his/her caviar sandwich on your lap. What then.

    • Just sayin'


      What then depends on how hot she is.

  • nathan

    Agree its disgusting but are you going to put a food monitor in every car? No way to enforce it. Besides where do you draw the line? A bottle of water? A baby’s bottle?

  • Gabby

    The subway is NOT a restaurant, it is a place that takes you from one location to another. It really looks GHETTO seeing these people eat in the subway as if that was there home. Some of the food they eat smells strong and looks greasy, I and many New Yorkers really don’t want to see or smell that.

    • Tiyquon Doe


      If ya can’t stand the GHETTO, get offa da train.

  • McBrooklyn

    Animals eat in the subway.

    • Jim

      Agreed! And no class ghetto hood rats.

  • Charles

    It wouldn’t help to banned food and drinks. There are places like Burger King in the Herald Square Station. Also Penn Station is where you find many food courts and most of them have very little seating. MTA is known for many many delays and people aren’t going to wait hours to eat and drink something. That’s why people eat and drink on the trains.

  • Bridget

    Food & drink should be banned on the subway. Look at the disguting woman in the picture. Eating a full meal while on the train is rude and disgusting. It also contributes to the filth on the trains.

    • Spaghetto Gurl


      I plan on farting near you next time I’m on the train.

      • mari

        Man how can anyone eat on the subway?? It smells like urine, and what’s on the floor is too gross to even think about. This must be what they are used to seeing and smelling so no big deal dealing with it.

    • Charles

      You might want to think about what you’re saying. You should get mad at the newsstands that sells food and drinks, or the food courts at 34th Street Penn Station, not the young woman. Maybe she was going to throw it away in the trash can like a responsible person if it wasn’t for that woman who doesn’t understand when to mind her own business wanted to open her big fat mouth! I praised that young woman :)

      • Charles

        We’re talking about food Jim not toe nails and I respect myself in public and probably make more money than you :)

      • Jim

        You praise a no class hood like that? I bet you clip your toe nails on the subway too!

      • Geo

        Lets see the cost of cleaning up all the trash is reflected in the fares, the problem of cleaning your clothes when someone spills a drink or food on you while you are tryiing to get to work or home comes out of your pocket. Having non paying rats on the same car with you as a result of the rules is priceless and oh how much time do you think Jay Walder spends on the subway.

      • Bridget

        I don’t know about you but I don’t want to smell someone eating chinese food or spaghetti while I am sitting on a train. No I don’t really want to rethink what I say. I say what I mean. I give the woman who opended her big fat mouth credit. You can tell from her reaction that she was not a responsible person. You must be a relative People should have better manners

    • Trishe

      She is not a woman, she is a teen….and looks like she iwill graduate to ghetto trash. I bet that she is tell all her friends about this incident with a big smile on her face. She should be arrested.

      • Charles

        Bottom line is the rule will not be enforce and I will continue eating and drinking on the train and throwing my garbage away like a good boy.

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