Today, Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams and the MTA announced a multi-channel campaign, “Subway Surfing Kills – Ride Inside, Stay Alive,” to deter subway surfing in NYC.
The comprehensive campaign is in conjunction with the New York Police Department, New York City Public Schools, and the New York City Department of Youth & Community Development.
To clarify, subway surfing is when someone attempts to ride atop a subway train. The dangerous stunt has become a more prevalent activity among youth over the years. Subway surfing has most commonly been found to occur after school hours during the warmer months. “Subway Surfing Kills – Ride Inside, Stay Alive,” hopes to deter the activity by raising awareness.
The 7 train is the most common line for subway surfing. It was outside the 33 St–Rawson St 7 subway station that the most recent tragic subway surfing incident occurred when a 14-year old boy from Brooklyn had a fatal fall on June 29th while attempting the stunt.
New Yorkers can expect student-recorded public service announcements in subway stations, student-created graphics and animations, social postings, palm cards to be distributed at schools and in stations, campaign school swag, limited-edition MetroCards with anti-surfing messages on the back, and more.
“The goal of this campaign is to remind members of the public, especially young people, that riding on top of subway cars is reckless, dumb and dangerous, frequently leading to tragedy for the person involved and their loved ones,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey.
Moreover, the MTA has asked Meta, Google and TikTok to reduce access to videos of subway surfing that are most often posted on their platforms. Just in the past few months there have been over 3,000 videos and photos of subway surfing removed by the social media companies.
“The safety of New Yorkers is my top priority,” Governor Hochul
From January 2023 to June 2023, there have been 450 instances documented by the MTA of people riding outside of trains. This year alone, five fatalities have occurred from suspected subway surfing. That’s the same amount of fatalities that happened over a four year span from 2018 to 2022.
“Each subway surfing death tragically strips young New Yorkers of promising futures. We cannot endure another tragedy on our trains,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “We will make sure that every young New Yorker understands: ‘Subway Surfing Kills – Ride Inside, Stay Alive’.”