Metro Exploring Ban on Hoverboards | NBC4 Washington

Metro Exploring Ban on Hoverboards

Transit agency already forbids using hoverboards in the system

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Metro doesn't want you riding a hoverboard in the system -- and might ban them altogether. Adam Tuss reports. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016)

    So, about that hoverboard you just got for Christmas -- Metro doesn't want you riding it on its property.

    The transit agency told News4 there are too many safety risks associated with the devices to have people cruising up and down station platforms.

    "They are a self-balancing, wheeled device, so that puts them in the same category as Segways for example, and we do have a policy that basically says Segways can only be carried in the system, they can't be used in the system," Metro's Chief Spokesperson Dan Stessel said.

    The only exception to Metro's rule with Segways is if you are a person with a disability and need a Segway to get around. There is an extremely small number of people who would even consider using a Segway for that purpose, Metro said, and even if you had a medical reason to use a Segway, you would still need to get Metro's approval before you could use it in the system.

    No one has applied for that kind of privilege with a hoverboard, Metro said.

    So where does that leave you and your cool, shiny new hoverboard? Out of luck on Metro.

    "For the moment you can carry a hoverboard onto the system, but you can not use it in stations, aboard trains or on Metro property," Stessel said.

    And that "for the moment" reference could turn into an all out ban. Metro's safety department is well aware of the reports that hoverboards can catch fire because of their lithium ion batteries inside. Metro may take the step to enact a full ban on hoverboards.

    "Right now we are in a learning mode and we want to make sure we craft a policy that fits," Stessel said.

    Metro is reaching out to other transit systems as well as Amtrak to get a better idea how to move forward. All major U.S. airlines have banned hoverboards.

    Still, hoverboards have made an appearance on Metro.

    "We have seen juveniles carrying them into the system and in some cases standing on them. That's unsafe," Stessel said.

    Metro said it wants riders to report any such hoverboard incidents so that transit police can intervene.