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Recent Response from an MTA Official Regarding Photography in the MTA System...


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In light of the recent rumors of Transit personnel being told to report photographers in throughout system, I contacted the MTA directly about this to get a clear understanding of what is going on, this is the response....

 

Response (Fernando Polanco) - 06/21/2011 11:42 AM

This is in response to your recent e-mail to the MTA requesting information on photography or filming on MTA property.

 

We truly appreciate your interest in the MTA. Recreational use of cameras in public areas, such as station platforms, mezzanines, and on trains, is allowed within the system. However, the use of ancillary equipment such as lights, reflectors or tripods is prohibited. Professional photography or filming requests, on the other hand, must be arranged through the Film & Special Events Unit in our Public Affairs Division. However, we expect that NYPD officers will continue to use their discretion in dealing with photography, filming or video recording within the system.

 

We thank you for taking the time to contact us.

 

La Wanda C. Green

Associate Transit Customer Service Specialist II

 

So what that says to me fellow fans, KEEP GRABING THOSE SHOTS AND ENJOY YOUR HOBBY! Just follow the rules doing it...

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I also sent that same thing to both (MTA) and (NJT) long time ago and they gave me same answer w

 

Yeah except in recent weeks, Bus Operators, Train Operators and Conductors are being told to stop photographers and call them in... So I hit up the higher ups to get an answer on the real deal.

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Yeah except in recent weeks, Bus Operators, Train Operators and Conductors are being told to stop photographers and call them in... So I hit up the higher ups to get an answer on the real deal.

 

Wait, they're BEING TOLD to do that?

 

We really should get a message from someone even higher up. An "Associate Transit Customer Service Specialist II" (just shows you how much bureaucracy they have), won't mean anything to the T/O's and other front line employees. The best would be to get something from the top of the MTA. Unfortunately, the only way to do that would be to get the news involved. Mocker?

 

Unless someone has an easy way of communicating with Walder/Prendergast/Irick.

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Wait, they're BEING TOLD to do that?

 

We really should get a message from someone even higher up. An "Associate Transit Customer Service Specialist II" (just shows you how much bureaucracy they have), won't mean anything to the T/O's and other front line employees. The best would be to get something from the top of the MTA. Unfortunately, the only way to do that would be to get the news involved. Mocker?

 

Unless someone has an easy way of communicating with Walder/Prendergast/Irick.

 

Already hit up Mr. Mocker, awaiting a response...

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I already went to the MNCR forum of a few weeks ago. They are planning to add a rule about photos on MNCRR rules.

 

On another note, im shocked they mentioned it is illegal to use tripods in MNR/LIRR, tho you could use it at your own risk..

 

Yeah except in recent weeks, Bus Operators, Train Operators and Conductors are being told to stop photographers and call them in... So I hit up the higher ups to get an answer on the real deal.

 

Heh, I got my Radio set to NYCTA / MNR / LIRR / NJT, etc.. Im ready for anything that happens.

 

However, from Tom R. the t/o (You know em) he said that the TSA has been telling these t/a systems that photos are illegal and sh9t.. Also that MBTA as of June 1st, 2011 started banning photos again, which idk if that is true since MBTA says its legal.

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Yeah except in recent weeks, Bus Operators, Train Operators and Conductors are being told to stop photographers and call them in... So I hit up the higher ups to get an answer on the real deal.

 

You know a Fresh Pond B/O told me that they had a meeting about photographers and they are told to report them to the MTA. I thought he was just making that up to try and scare me. I also shot a bus this morning and the driver wasn't too happy about it and he wanted to make a scene. Another B/O then told him he's OK to take pics.

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I already went to the MNCR forum of a few weeks ago. They are planning to add a rule about photos on MNCRR rules.

 

On another note, im shocked they mentioned it is illegal to use tripods in MNR/LIRR, tho you could use it at your own risk..

 

 

 

Heh, I got my Radio set to NYCTA / MNR / LIRR / NJT, etc.. Im ready for anything that happens.

 

However, from Tom R. the t/o (You know em) he said that the TSA has been telling these t/a systems that photos are illegal and sh9t.. Also that MBTA as of June 1st, 2011 started banning photos again, which idk if that is true since MBTA says its legal.

 

As usual with the brain dead folks at the TSA.....they have no clue about Bus & Rail Transit Systems. They don't run like airports.

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I seeked advice from a new age expert on this situation, she said "remember to strike a balance with your energies. IF you carry too much negativity you are more likely to be bothered. Strike a balance between hubris and overworry, and stay positive."

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I seeked advice from a new age expert on this situation, she said "remember to strike a balance with your energies. IF you carry too much negativity you are more likely to be bothered. Strike a balance between hubris and overworry, and stay positive."

 

in other words don't give people a reason to believe you're up to something.

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in other words don't give people a reason to believe you're up to something.

 

What ive always gone by is dont spend too much time in one place, and photograph the rear of the train, especially underground. Avoid major stations in Manhattan south of 59th Street.

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I was just out getting shots today and the worst I got was a dirty look or two. I can pass off as a tourist, and that's what I do. Grab a shot of the R32 / RTS and then point my camera at the buildings or the mosaic in the station. Always gets them off my back.

 

they always give the photographers dirty looks, tho some smile and wave.

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I was just out getting shots today and the worst I got was a dirty look or two. I can pass off as a tourist, and that's what I do. Grab a shot of the R32 / RTS and then point my camera at the buildings or the mosaic in the station. Always gets them off my back.

 

they always give the photographers dirty looks, tho some smile and wave.

 

See I don't care about looks or any of that. As long as they are not opening the door or window of their bus or train and starting talking the photo nonsense.

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See I don't care about looks or any of that. As long as they are not opening the door or window of their bus or train and starting talking the photo nonsense.

 

I once had a conductor actually come out of the train to ask me what i was doing at Valley Stream.

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Here's a useful site reviewing photography policies in many transit systems. I am surprised it is only listed once on this forum:

 

http://www.nycsubway.org/faq/photopermits.html

 

Keep in mind that many employees are either not aware of these rules or do not want you to become aware of them. For example, I was on a SEPTA train earlier this month and an engineer told me that I could not record on the train. Of course you can, as long as you warn the Media Relations Dept.

 

To repeat what others have said, as long as you are following the rules, you are following the rules.

 

Many of these threats from workers are bluffs to scare nascent photographers. The NYPD/MTA do not want to have their employees become legal liabilities. If a worker says you cannot record in an area (and you are positive that you can), make sure to record the person in question and then continue your activity. Speak in a polite manner that indicates your knowledge of the law. If s/he is smart, no force will be involved. If you are forced to stop, a lawsuit is likely. Just be prepared to record your surroundings so that they strengthen your story. This also depends on how much time you have on your hands!

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