While many Santa-clad celebrators will drink in the holiday season at New York City bars for the annual SantaCon pub crawl, people will not be able to do that on the train ride to and from the city Saturday and part of Sunday.
The ban on Metro-North trains and at the stations began at 5 a.m. Saturday and will last until noon Sunday, Dec. 13 "to maintain orderly travel and safe station and terminal operations" during SantaCon. While alcohol is usually allowed on the trains, Metro-North is imposing the temporary ban "for the safety of customers and train crews," according to a news release.
The alcohol ban on Long Island Rail Road trains and at stations began at 11 p.m. Friday, coinciding with the railway's usual alcohol ban between midnight and 5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and runs through Sunday at noon.
While SantaCon has drawn some opposition from neighborhoods in the Big Apple, event organized are working to improve the reputation of the festive pub crawl and have hired a civil rights lawyer to ensure they are permitted in bars provided they abide by the laws, NBC New York reported.
MTA police officers at Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station in New York City and train stations on the route will be enforcing the liquor restriction, according to a news release. They will confiscate any alcohol people are carrying.
Anyone who violates the ban risks being escorted off the trains and out of the stations and being issued a summons carrying a fine or imprisonment, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
More information is available on MTA's website.