Bill S1547-2013

Prohibits the consumption of food in New York city subways

Prohibits the consumption of food on New York city subways; defines subways to include trains, stations, platforms and shops operated by the MTA.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1547

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to prohibiting the consumption of food in New York city subways

PURPOSE OF THE BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to mitigate the growing rat infestation in the NYC subway system.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

§ 1- Public authorities law is amended by adding a new section 1277 -b which prohibits the consumption of food on subway trains.

Subdivision 2. Establishes fines and other punitive actions for a failure to adhere to the prohibition.

Subdivision 3. Requires all fines collected pursuant to subdivision 2 of this section be deposited to the credit of the New York subway littering prevention fund established pursuant to section 97-uuu of the state finance law.

§ 2- Effective Date.

JUSTIFICATION: Most people have a visceral reaction to rats, but that alone is not why we must make every effort to rid them from our subways. Rats can carry and transmit diseases, some of which are fatal to humans, dogs, and other animals. Rats can spread disease through their urine, feces and from bites. Leptospirosis, for example, is a rat borne illness that may cause kidney and liver damage, meningitis (inflammation of the membrane around the brain and spinal cord) and respiratory difficulty can result. Rats also carry parasites like fleas, worms and mites which can spread diseases as well. The public health crisis underscores the potential danger posed by an out of control rat population. In particular, New York city's subway system, with its densely packed trains and enclosed spaces, provides an ideal environment for communicable diseases to spread quickly.

New Yorkers think we have a serious rodent problem in our subways that cart be resolved. This is the news that comes from a district-wide rat survey conducted by my office. Over 15,000 surveys were distributed, in the mail, on-line and in-person at train stations. People's passion for this issue was evident wherever we handed out surveys. Within days of our mailing, we received stacks of mail from constituents who had taken the time to fill out, stamp and mail back our surveys. The response was overwhelming.

As the results came in, three things are clear: NYC residents overwhelmingly stated they are facing a severe problem, and that the problem of rats rampaging through the subway is partly due to inept pest-control by the Metropolitan Transit Authority and most feel

strongly that the conduct of train customers, eating in stations, on trains, and carelessly discarding refuse on the tracks or platforms, plays an important role in compounding the problem. New York City is considered by many to be the capital of the world. As one of the busiest cities in the country with one of the largest transportation systems, we have to take the problem of rats more seriously.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012 (S.6312): Referred to Transportation; Finance

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: No cost to the state. In fact, the fines associated with this legislation creates an additional revenue stream for the New York subway littering prevention fund.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1547 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. PERKINS, ESPAILLAT, KLEIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Trans- portation AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to prohibiting the consumption of food in New York city subways THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public authorities law is amended by adding a new section 1277-b to read as follows: S 1277-B. PROHIBITION OF THE CONSUMPTION OF FOOD ON SUBWAY TRAINS. 1. NO PERSON SHALL CONSUME ANY FOOD WITHIN ANY SUBWAY. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "SUBWAY" SHALL MEAN ALL RAIL RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEMS OPERATED BY THE NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMIT- ED TO ALL TRAINS, RAIL CARS, PASSENGER STATIONS, PLATFORMS AND SHOPS OPERATED BY SUCH AUTHORITY. 2. A VIOLATION OF THE PROVISION OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY A FINE NOT TO EXCEED TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS AND/OR A REQUIREMENT TO PERFORM SERVICES FOR A PUBLIC OR NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION, ASSOCIATION, INSTITUTION OR AGENCY NOT TO EXCEED EIGHT HOURS AND FOR ANY SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION BY A FINE NOT TO EXCEED FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS AND/OR A REQUIREMENT TO PERFORM SERVICES FOR A PUBLIC OR NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION, ASSOCIATION, INSTITUTION OR AGENCY NOT TO EXCEED EIGHT HOURS. 3. FINES COLLECTED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEPOSITED TO THE CREDIT OF THE NEW YORK SUBWAY LITTERING PREVENTION FUND ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION NINETY-SEVEN-UUU OF THE STATE FINANCE LAW, AND SHALL BE USED BY THE NEW YORK CITY TRANSIT AUTHORITY TO POST SIGNS NOTIFYING THE PUBLIC OF THE MAXIMUM FINE FOR A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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