Partying En Masse in the Subway Actually Is a Crime


Yesterday we posted a video of a bunch of people taking over an F train so that they could party in it, because partying in a subway seems like a good idea to some people. But subway partying is not a victimless crime! Today we heard from someone who was trying to use the subway just to get home, and not to party, on Saturday night, when he found himself unexpectedly surrounded by revelers. (Who, for the record, may have been shamed — their video is now down.)

Here is his email:

I was coming back from the Mets game with a friend from out of town around 11:45-midnight Saturday night. We took the 7 train to Bryant Park and switched to the F (I live in Dumbo and the A and C were running on the F line in Brooklyn). At West 4th our train announced it was going express and skipping York St so we got off and waited on the platform for the next train. We noticed six flamboyant kids, three guys (based on stereotypes and their rainbow bead necklaces alone, probably gay) and three girls (their ugliness confirmed our suspicion that the boys were indeed gaylords) — one had paint on his cheeks.

Based on their boarding at West 4th and age (looked like they were 18-20 years old), I naturally assumed they were NYU students, but it is summertime, and who knows. An F train pulled up, we boarded unbeknownst of their plans. After sitting down, one of the boys (definitely gay now that we heard his voice) announces (and I’m paraphrasing here), “Attention ladies and gentlemen, this subway car is about to be transformed into a subway party. If you want to stay, you are welcome to, but if not please move to the other car now.”

I groan. Everybody (there were probably 10 people on the train total) gets up and moves to the next car. I had a long umbrella and thought about telling them to go fuck themselves, but at 12:00a and being groggy after a 4-hour Mets game, I just muttered something nasty and went to the next car.

Between 4th and Broadway-Lafayette, the kids proceed to tie streamers around the polls, by the time the train pulls up to Broadway-Lafayette they have covered the whole car. On the Broadway-Lafayette platform, there are 50-60 kids screaming and cheering as the train arrives. They get on, they have boom boxes and I just shake my head and start cracking jokes about them – loudly – with my friend in the next car. My thoughts, by and large, were that these kids were self-obsessed pricks who just wanted to create a viral sensation on YouTube. When we got off at York, a kid had thrown an empty plastic cylinder of bead necklaces on the platform. My friend kicks it back through the door and it hits one of them in the head. Victory!

Thank you for exposing these brats.

So…bad thing about subway parties number 457: Not only are they obnoxious, messy, hard on the ears, and inconsiderate of people who actually need to take the subway, they may also engender some unnecessary homophobic language. This rage need not exist!

We talked to the guy, who apologized for his language in the email and expressed, again, how aggravating the whole incident was for everyone not on the subway to party. Among the travelers who got stuck on the party car was some poor guy with a bike who didn’t have time to move to the next one, for instance. That must have sucked.

So, as Daily Intel asked yesterday, can’t the subway partiers be charged with a crime? This is illegal, right? We spoke to Kevin Ortiz at the MTA, who send us the rather lengthy MTA code of conduct. Among its many rules for behavior on the transit system, we found these 10 nuggets that our subway partiers seem to have been — or likely to be — breaking:

-No person may perform any act which interferes with or may tend to interfere with the provision of transit service, obstructs or may tend to obstruct the flow of traffic on facilities or conveyances, or interferes with or may tend to interfere with the safe and efficient operation of the facilities or conveyances of the Authority.

-No person shall use media devices such as films, slides or videotapes.

-Where an activity permitted by the authorization contained in this section includes the use of a sound production device, no person shall begin or continue the use of such sound production device during any announcement made over the public address system or by a New York City police officer or by an Authority employee.

-No person shall bring or carry onto a conveyance any liquid in an open container.

No person on or in any facility or conveyance shall:

-litter, dump garbage, liquids or other matter, create a nuisance, hazard or unsanitary condition (including, but not limited to, spitting, or urinating, except in facilities provided).

-create any sound through the use of any sound production device, except as specifically authorized by 1050.6(c) of these rules. Use of radios and other devices listened to solely by headphones or earphones and inaudible to others is permitted

-throw, drop or cause to be propelled any stone, projectile or other article at, from, upon, in or on a facility or conveyance;

-drink any alcoholic beverage or possess any opened or unsealed container of alcoholic beverage, except on premises duly licensed for the sale of alcoholic beverages, such as bars and restaurants;

-conduct himself or herself in any manner which may cause or tend to cause annoyance, alarm or inconvenience to a reasonable person or create a breach of the peace

-occupy more than one seat on a station, platform or conveyance when to do so would interfere or tend to interfere with the operation of the Authority’s transit system or the comfort of other passengers; (2) place his or her foot on a seat on a station, platform or conveyance; (3) lie on the floor, platform, stairway, landing or conveyance; or (4) block free movement on a station, stairway, platform or conveyance

So, what’s the punishment?

Pursuant to section 1204(5-a) of the Public Authorities Law, any person committing one or more violations of these rules shall be subject to either:

criminal prosecution in the criminal court of the City of New York, which court may impose a fine not to exceed twenty-five dollars or a term of imprisonment for not longer than ten days, or both; or

civil penalties imposed by the transit adjudication bureau in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars per violation (exclusive of interest or costs assessed thereon).

Enforcement — and this is the tricky part — is up to the NYPD.