LIRR bans smoking on platforms

The LIRR instituted its initial quiet car program Dec. 5. (LIR stock photo)

Smoking will be no more, at least on Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) platforms.

The Metro Transit Authority (MTA) issued ban that eliminates smoking near the platforms for both the LIRR and Metro-North. The ban took effect Nov. 13.

A new ban that prohibits smoking on LIRR platforms took effect on Nov. 13 (LIR photo by Christina Serednicki)

A new ban that prohibits smoking on LIRR platforms took effect on Nov. 13 (LIR photo by Christina Serednicki)

To inform passengers about the ban, an audio message is being played at stations urging people to refrain from lighting up. The message includes the voices of famous New York athletes including Tommy John, a former pitcher for the Yankees, and New York Jets iconic former quarterback Joe Namath.

Many riders are thrilled with the news.

“Public transportation should be smoke free,” said Robyn Goldman, a student at Hofstra University. “If it’s smoke free on the trains, it should be smoke free on the platforms.”

Woodbury resident Michelle Soslowitz agrees with Goldman.

“I definitely think that it’s a good idea that they are banning smoking on platforms,” she said. “There are so many times when I am at the Syosset platform, and I have to walk away because someone is blowing smoke in my face.”

On the other hand, the ban will be an inconvenience to smokers. They will now have to move away from the platform if they want to smoke.

Charlie Emala Jr., who works in New York City, occasionally takes the LIRR to visit friends on Long Island.

“As a non smoker and occasional LIRR rider, I find it to be great,” Emala said. “While I respect an individual’s right to smoke where it does not affect others, such as their home, smoking in public places affects those around them as well.”

MTA police say they will initially start issuing warnings to violators who are caught smoking. Fines will be around $50.