NEW YORK – The MTA has joined New York City officials and transportation agencies from other major cities in banning the so-called hoverboard, citing a fire risk.
The hoverboard's explosive popularity and high price spawned multiple copy-cat devices containing lithium-ion batteries prone to fire and explosion. Earlier in January, authorities seized some 300 counterfeit hoverboards in Miami.
Hoverboards are responsible for a string of fires and explosions across the country that have been caught on video. They were also a popular Christmas gift in 2015.
While resembling a Segway more than an actual hoverboard, the devices are being targeted in a new MTA "bubble people" campaign with the message "Hoverboards Not Allowed."
“The safety of our customers and employees is always our top concern,” said MTA Chief Safety Officer David Mayer. “For obvious reasons, it is not safe to use hoverboards, skateboards or other personal wheeled vehicles on station platforms. We’re equally concerned about the safety risk of bringing devices that pose fire hazards into the confined spaces inside trains and buses.”
The devices have been banned by Amtrak, Metrolink in Los Angeles, Metra in Chicago and by most U.S. airlines. Before the start of the new semester, Rutgers University banned hoverboards on the New Jersey campus.