Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Friday, April 27, 2012

LIRR Beer Ban




Following an uptick in assaults on its conductors by intoxicated passengers on late night weekend trains, the Long Island Rail Road has issued an experimental ban on alcoholic beverages on all trains leaving Penn Station between 12 Midnight and 5 AM on Saturdays and Sundays.

Quite frankly, it wouldn't really affect me all that much if at all.  I can count on the fingers of both hands the number of times I have had occasion to take trains leaving Penn Station during that time window during the past 20+ years.  And, quite frankly, I would not typically be imbibing alcoholic beverages during those hours.

Yes, after a day in the city (particularly a hot sweltering summer day in New York), I do regularly enjoy ONE cold beer during my commute home on the LIRR.  But I hasten to note that:

A.  I drink only one beer.

B.  If I will be driving home from the station (as distinguished from taking a cab, walking or catching a ride with my wife or other driver), the last sip from the bottle is completed by the time the train leaves Jamaica Station, so that I have adequate detox time.

And it sort of makes sense.  Many if not most alcohol imbibers who board the train at Penn Station at those hours already have done some world class imbibing in the bars and restaurants of Manhattan.  And the LIRR cannot fail to take some action to protect its employees.

And it is tailored relatively narrowly to address a particular problem.

Yet, the new LIRR ban on alcoholic beverages for late night weekend trains bothered me.  I now have figured out why.

Those of us who live on Long Island are treated as second-class citizens by the legal system of New York.  We have more restrictions and burdens than other areas of the State (except New York City) when it comes to firearms licensing and driver licensing.  We are subject to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's special tax on businesses.  And our own real estate taxes, which are redistributed to the people of New York City, are a greater percentage of our properties' fair market values than the real estate taxes in NYC.

So here comes the MTA, imposing a beer ban on the LIRR (but not, it seems, the Metro North commuter railroad).  This is yet another instance of Long Island residents being treated as legally incompetent wards in need of guardianship.



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