MTA to ban alcohol on Metro-North, LIRR for SantaCon

Local News

TOPSHOT – Revellers gather for the start of the Annual SantaCon Bar Crawl at Father Duffy Square, a section of Times Square, on December 14, 2019, in New York. – SantCon is an event where people make donations to charitable causes and dress up as a Christmas character and visit bars around the city. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK – With this year’s SantaCon festivities just days away, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced Wednesday it will ban alcohol consumption on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road trains during the weekend.

The ban will take effect from 4 a.m. on Saturday through 12 p.m. on Sunday, the agency said.

As in years past, alcohol consumption will be prohibited at all LIRR and Metro-North station platforms and trains during these hours.

“There may be riders coming back to the train for the first time since the start of the pandemic,” said MTA Police Chief Joseph McGrann. “It is important we do everything we can to maintain orderly travel so that everyone can enjoy their holiday plans by getting to their destinations smoothly and on time.”

SantaCon was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The bar crawl and charity fundraiser has become a polarizing holiday tradition in New York City.

While thousands of Santas and elves flock to Manhattan for a day of revelry to celebrate the holiday season, many who live or work in the borough have long panned the alcohol-fueled behavior that would certainly put some participants on the naughty list, including brawls and arrests.

The MTA reminded attendees that masks or face coverings must be worn on all trains for the duration of their trip.

There will also be an increased presence of MTA officers at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal to enforce the alcohol consumption ban. 

Police will confiscate alcoholic beverages and issue summonses to violators.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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