Subway Stories - Legal News Regarding Photography on the T

I just read an interesting article regarding taking pictures on the T. It seems that recently several amateur photographers were prevented from taking pictures of MBTA vehicles while on public property or lawfully on the vehicles. They complained to the ACLU of Massachusetts, who submitted a letter to the MBTA stating that "prohibiting photographs of or on transportation vehicles in full view of the public is neither reasonable nor necessary." According to the article, the MBTA has no written policy regarding taking pictures on the T. The ACLU states that this is a First Amendment issue and plans to sue the MBTA if the issue remains unresolved.

Having recently started the Subway Stories series, I have been walking around taking pictures around the T. Nobody has said anything to me, but I have not taken any pictures on the train. I must admit I was aware that this could be an issue and have been hesitant to take pictures inside. After 9/11 and the bombings in London and Madrid, I think we are all aware that terrorism is an issue when it comes to public transportation. The first pictures that I took were at night while I was walking around taking pictures of the signs. I know that there are cameras everywhere and I was a bit nervous that I might have been observed. I've been planning on taking some pictures inside, because I want to give a better sense of the feel and the look of the T while sharing my stories. I think this is the time to be bold. Being an attorney, with a blog by this name, who just started this series, how can I not?


Moe Blow said…
On Monday (02/05/07) I'll be calling the ACLU to find out what, exactly, my rights are. In 2001 I was tossed out of Park St. for shooting and since then I've been told dozens of times that I can't shoot because it's illegal. I just recently found out that photography in public places is actually constitutionally protected. Once I find out what my rights ARE, I intend to actually exercise them.

This will get interesting.

Lisa Johnson said…
Welcome Jason! Thanks for dropping by. This does sound interesting. Please let me know what happens.

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