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June 4, 2008

Alcohol Ban Angers Some

You may no longer drink alcohol on London’s subway system. This ban on alcohol has some up in arms causing chaos and revelers to come out in droves. The ban comes in an attempt to help cut down on the amount of drunken fights and vomited on the subways that happens with some drinkers. Six stations were closed because of revelers enacting violence and damaging trains. Major subway hubs were closed off because of the chaos.

I am not that clear on subway rules in other parts of the world, or even in the U.S. Since I live in a place where there is no rail system, I’ve never even thought about drinking being legal on subways. I guess it kind of makes sense but why would people need to drink on a subway? There are bars and homes where social drinks can be enjoyed. It surprises me a little that you could previously drink on the subway.

In protest of the ban on alcohol on the London subway system, people gathered and drank, sometimes large amounts of alcohol. Even though the evening was wild and out of control no one was seriously injured. However, the issue is sure to come up again as this new ban on alcohol on subways continues to affect regular party goers.

Newly elected mayor Boris Johnson put the ban in place to make the London subway system safer. Both the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police fully support the ban. The goal is to make public transits safer for everyone that uses it. Cities like London where Subways are very useful to commuters and anyone that wants to travel about the city have a large rider ship. Drunken passengers would probably be very annoying for anyone that had to use the rail system and was sober.

However, one good thing about being able to drink on the rail system is that you are not drinking and driving. Although I am not interested in being in the company of someone who is vomiting or involved in a drunken brawl, I also don’t want those same people driving around. Also, banning actual alcohol consumption on the subway does not necessarily mean that drunk people will not be on the rail. I am sure that many travelers will still be drunk. They just won’t be actually drinking on the trains.

The other side of the coin is that public transit is a viable way for people tog et around. It helps with pollution and is very safe. Making it pleasant for all riders is important. People with children or workers that have to use the transit system should not have to put up with the antics of drunk passengers. Comfort and safety are two major issues that rail users care about.

Boris Johnson ran for mayor with making public transit safer as one of his agendas. The ban on drinking on the rail system is the first step in his attempt to make the system safer. Banning drinking may make the rail system safer but it could also not make as much of an impact as some think it will. It will be interesting to see if the rail system is any safer without drinkers on it.

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