MTA Photo Policy

The NYC Transit photography policy:

Section 1050.9
Restricted areas and activities.
c. Photography, filming or video recording in any facility or conveyance is permitted except that ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods may not be used. Members of the press holding valid identification issued by the New York City Police Department are hereby authorized to use necessary ancillary equipment. All photographic activity must be conducted in accordance with the provision of these Rules.

The full web page is at: MTA NYCT restricted

On May 20, 2004 the MTA announced that the board will consider a ban on photography as a security measure. So far two advocacy groups and the mayor himself have come out against the ban. In this, the centennial year, it was a big mistake. There was supposed to be a 45 day window for getting comments from the public.
By 2005, it was clear that there was enough opposition to cause the MTA to not adopt this policy.

The NY City Civil Liberties Union was against the ban for various reasons.

The NY Daily News reported on 5/22/2005 that the photo ban proposal is dead!
See: Daily News Article 5/22/05


The National Press Photographers Association has information and a legal opinion about taking photograhs in public places. Although this is geared to members of the press, it does stress the public's right to take photos in public places.

Here is a link to letters to and from the MTA pertaining to the photo policies on the LIRR and MNCR. It's in PDF format This one also from the LIRR History web site includes an internal memo from the MTA Chief of Police.

As a public service, the
JoeKorNer provides a program
that automaically serches for and deletes any railroad photographs from your system.

With tongue firmly implanted in cheek, here is the penalty for taking photos on transit property.



The Photographers Right
PDF file from a Portland, Oregon Lawyer. Some interesting points related to photographer security issues. Information every railfan photographer should know.


It's ironic that the A anc C trains were knocked out on 1/23/2005 by a fire perhaps set by a homeless person - and he didn't have a camera!

The NY Daily News of 1/27/2005 ran this cartoon on the editorial page


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2006 by Joseph D. Korman