NYC Subway Food Ban Could be a Possibility

Lawmakers in New York City have proposed a bill that would ban eating on the city's subway trains.

Commuters may have to say goodbye to their breakfast bagel or sandwich during their train ride to work in New York City. New legislation is being proposed that would fine subway munchers $250 for bringing food into subways, according to

Sen. Bill Perkins (D-Manhattan) claims the bill is a response to a growing rat population.

"We feed them, therefore we breed them," Perkins said.

He sent out over 15,000 surveys to Manhattan residents who said that they were fed up seeing rats running around in the city's subway stations. Most of the complaints came from riders at the 125th Street Station, who use the 4, 5 and 6 trains.

Residents say they see rats fighting over scraps on the train tracks.

While some residents feel that the ban could help with the rat population, others feel that the rule will be hard to enforce and the fine is too high, according to NY1.

The idea for the food ban was introduced in March 2011 after videos and pictures of food fights on the train surfaced on the web. MTA Board member, Charles Moerdler, was the one to spark the initial discussion, according to a CBS report.

MTA spokesman, Aaron Donovan, said that the MTA runs public service campaigns to discourage people from eating on the train, but it's not against law.

One Harlem commuter suggested that there's no way the city could enforce a ban on subway food, pointing to his own bag of food.

"People like eating in the train in the morning because they don't have enough time to eat at their houses," another commuter said. "You know, we have to either go to school or work like this."

Jason Chin-Fatt, a spokesman for the Straphangers Campaign, agrees that enforcing the ban will be a problem, according to

He feels that there should be an emphasis on an education campaign for anti-litter or even stricter enforcement of anti-litter laws.

"Hopefully that would help ease some of the food and rodent stuff we're seeing in the stations," Chin-Fatt said.

The MTA said they are studying the legislation, while Sen. Perkins is building support for the bill. He hopes to have it passed by the end of the legislative session in June.