The MTA board of directors voted 9-2 on Wednesday in favor of a resolution banning all political advertising on MTA property, NBC New York reports. The ban comes largely in response to Texas-based anti-Muslim crusader Pamela Geller’s hateful posters on public transportation. This decision from the MTA renders U.S. District Court Judge John Koeltl’s decision upholding Pamela Geller’s First Amendment rights moot.
Politically-minded advertising accounts for less than $1 million of the MTA’s $138 million in advertising revenue. This low number is not worth endangering passenger safety, which MTA general counsel Jerome Page says advertising like Pamela Geller’s posters do.
“We drew the line when we thought our customers, our employees and the public were in danger,” Page told NBC. “The judge gave short shrift to those concerns.”
Los Angeles and Chicago have already banned political advertising on public transit.
This is one of those rare occasions where a restriction on free speech seems fair and reasonable. Public transportation isn’t a good place to push political agendas.
(Photo: Jarrett Stewart)