A New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) task force released its final report this month unanimously recommending that the agency’s position on the sale and consumption of alcohol on its commuter railroads should not be changed. Alcoholic beverages are currently sold on select Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North Railroad trains and facilities. The report based its conclusion on four main findings, drawn from research and interviews with the MTA Police Department and other stakeholders:
No correlation was able to be drawn between the sale or consumption of alcohol on MTA facilities and DWI incidents in or around either railroad;
The sale of alcohol, beverages and snacks were considered an amenity for customers;
Alcohol was readily available for purchase in multiple locations in or around LIRR and MNR stations/terminals; and
Preventing the consumption of alcohol prior to arrival at or on commuter railroad trains was not feasible.
The ban, proposed by an MTA Board member after a spate of accidents in 2006, had prompted outcry from riders, including a group formed by Westchester County residents called Commuters Allied for Responsible Enjoyment. MTA policy dictates that customers are allowed no more than two drinks, no intoxicated people may be served alcohol and no one under the age of 21 may be served.