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N.Y. Lawmaker Wants Fines For Straphangers Who Eat On The Subway

State Sen. Bill Perkins Says Complaints About Rodents Led To $250 Fine Idea
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Two subway riders chow down on bagels (credit: CBS 2)

Two subway riders chow down on bagels (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A local lawmaker want to clamp down on eating on the subway with fines.

In one viral video, a woman told another who was eating spaghetti on the subway, “animals eat on the train,” and got a face full of pasta in response. That encounter helped ignite a debate over food in the subway.

A ban was proposed but never passed, but where the MTA couldn’t get it done, State Sen. Bill Perkins plans to propose a $250 fine.

Perkins said riders are always complaining to him about rodents.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reports 

“Those rats feed off of what we eat or discard in the system. You feed them, you breed them,” he told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano. “Not only are they on the tracks, they’re on the seats. Sometimes they even come off out of the subway.”

“If you look in the subway on track, you’ll see them eating pizza,” he told 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon.

For busy subway riders, taking away their food on the subway is like taking away their MetroCards.

“I don’t think that would work,” said Kiley Olsen of the Lower East Side, munching on a bagel. “I would still eat on the train.”

One straphanger wouldn’t mind a ban, and said having a meal on your way to work is just plain rude.

“Definitely eating a meal on the subway, that’s a little obnoxious,” said Michael Friedman of the Upper East Side.

Riders aren’t so sure that such a proposal could be enforced.

“It’s like, some of people’s only free time is to like be on the train to eat,” said Olsen.

The MTA said it studying the new proposal.

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