Much like manspreading or dancing on poles, there's another thing New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority doesn't want you to do: ride a hoverboard. The MTA announced on Jan. 27 that possession of the two-wheeler on any bus, subway or train is now under an embargo, i.e., not kosher.

The risk has to do with the Lithium-ion batteries the boards use to run, which have a propensity to catch fire spontaneously — most recently while charging in a home in Westchester and doing the same in a Crown Heights apartment in Brooklyn.

The ban was made under the MTA prohibition of "hazardous or flammable materials," as well as the already-existing veto on "the use of personal wheeled vehicles, such as skateboards, skates or scooters, in train stations." What differentiates hoverboards from the bunch, of course, is that they are not allowed to be carried on MTA property at all.

"The safety of our customers and employees is always our top concern," said chief safety officer David Mayer in an official statement released by the MTA, warning against the perils of hoverboard use. "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 MTA police department intends to keep the boards out of every major and minor transit line, including commuter trans like the LIRR, Metro-North and NJTransit, and will advertise using the transit service's infamous "bubble people."


The MTA ban is by no means the first of its kind: hoverboards have been banned by academic institutions, airlines, Disney, all public spaces in Denmark, NFL coaches and even at one point by NYC itself — the list sounds like a sketch straight out of Stefon from SNL's mouth. The online retailer Amazon also banned the sale of non-domestic or accredited boards, sending refunds to customers who had already purchased potentially-perilous models.

Watch how easily a hoverboard can catch on fire in the video clip below.


Source: Metropolitan Transit Authority

Photo: Soar Boards | Flickr

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