NYC-area commuter lines put a cork in 'spirits' for Santa convention

RELATED TOPICS: NEW YORK | COMMUTER | PASSENGER | OPERATIONS | SAFETY
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NEWARK, N.J. — NJ TRANSIT is prohibiting liquid beverages on all of its trains, light rail vehicles and buses on Saturday, Dec. 9 and the early morning of Sunday, Dec. 10, to coincide with the annual SantaCon event in New York City.

Also, alcohol will not be permitted on MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad trains and in stations from noon Saturday to noon on Sunday. That MTA timeframe overlaps with the Long Island Rail Road’s usual ban on alcohol between midnight and 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

MTA police officers will be on duty at Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, and stations throughout the region, as well as on trains to enforce this restriction. The police will confiscate alcoholic beverages and issue summonses carrying fines or imprisonment. Violators may also be subject to removal from the train or station by police.

SantaCon New York is one of more than 300 similar events that will take place in more than 40 countries around the world this holiday season. The New York City event, to be held on Saturday is open to all who make a charitable donation of $10.

While you might envision SantaCon as a family event, in New York, it tends to attract young adults who want to party hearty — more like Mardi Gras in a mixed-gender sea of red suits and white beards — than an event for families. And, like Mardi Gras, celebrants tend to party a little too hard, hence this prohibition on New Jersey Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North, which includes all liquids.

Normally, only the exclusion of drinking beverages on any NJ Transit buses is prohibited.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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