If you live in New York City and plan to ride the subway or hop on a city bus, you better leave your “hoverboard” at home. The state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Wednesday that it is banning the self-balancing scooters from public transportation over fire safety concerns.
The MTA’s safety rules have previously prohibited the use, or transport, of personal wheeled vehicles, such as skateboards, skates or scooters, and the possession of hazardous or flammable materials on MTA-operated subways, trains, and buses.
According to the MTA’s announcement Wednesday, a hoverboard’s motorized capabilities and its lithium-ion batteries qualify as being banned under the safety rules.
“The safety of our customers and employees is always our top concern,” MTA Chief Safety Officer David Mayer said in a statement. “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.”
New York previously banned the use of hoverboards and other motorized scooters on city sidewalks.
The new ban on hoverboards will be enforced by the MTA Police Department and the New York City Police Department.
The ban applies to not only buses and subways, but also the Long Island Rail Road, the Metro-North Railroad, the Staten Island Railway and Access-A-Ride.
The New York MTA is just the latest municipal agency to ban the scooters, with Los Angeles and Chicago previously implementing similar rules.
Safety concerns related to the gadgets began popping up in November when a Louisiana family says the not-actually-a-hoverboard caused a fire that burned down their home.
Since then, several other reports have surfaced about exploding scooters, with airlines, delivery companies, and others banning the devices.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced it has received dozens of reports of fires in 17 states, as well as 70 ER-treated injuries. Additionally, the agency announced this week that it was investigating 13 hoverboard companies.