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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Last Call for the Bar Car?

Spurred on by a variety of lifestyle and cost of living issues, many people who work in Manhattan and the other four boroughs that make up New York City live on Long Island, along the Hudson Valley to the north or in New Jersey, Connecticut and even Pennsylvania. With this decision comes the daily commute and for many a ride on one of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) busy commuter trains. The rides will get a little longer for some if one MTA Board member gets his wish.

MTA Board Member Mitch Pally wants to declare Prohibition on Metro-North and Long Island Railroad trains. Many workers who board these trains at the end of a long work day face a ride of an hour or more before they reach their destination. Some buy a can of beer before boarding one of the trains or from a refreshment cart on board. Pally wants the practice to end.

Pally says he is concerned about rowdy behavior on the trains and drunk driving issues. There have also been several highly reported recent incidents of train riders being injured falling between trains and platforms. He plans to raise the alcohol ban proposal at the MTA Board meeting taking place today.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and some comuter advocates have expressed support for the ban, while some riders see the proposal as another step by government to infringe on personal rights.


Anonymous said...

Ah, another example of why MADD needs to change its name to "Mothers Against Drinking".

Al said...

I commute via train from Washington, DC to the suburbs. My train ride is only an hour, but the line runs all the way to Martinsburg, West Virginia. From Union Station that's about two hours.

While MARC doesn't sell beer on the train, they also don't try to prevent people from drinking and socializing on the train. I prefer the "Quiet" car myself, but I don't see anything wrong with having a beer or two with some of your commuting buddies after a long, hard day. I've not seen any reports of injuries due to people drinking on the train. (There's occasionally a bit of rowdiness, but it's rare.)