Electronic cigarettes are now banned across San Diego public transit, the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) announced Thursday.
The MTS Board of Directors voted unanimously to ban the use of E-cigarettes in places where it is already illegal to smoke tobacco products.
This means all buses and trolleys running in San Diego, plus bus stops and transit centers, will ban E-cigarettes beginning on July 18.
Passengers will be fined if they break the ban. Fines are $50 for the first offense, $75 for the second offense and $100 for the third and subsequent offense, MTS confirmed.
It’s currently prohibited for passengers to smoke cigarettes in MTS buses and trolleys and within 25 feet of any bus stop, Trolley station or other MTS transit facility.
This new ban amends that rule to expressly include electronic cigarettes and prohibits passengers that “smoke or carry a lighted or smoldering pipe, cigar, cigarette, or tobacco or use any electronic smoking product or device that causes smoke, mist or vapor in any form,” MTS said.
“The popularity of electronic cigarettes has grown significantly in recent years. We now have uniform policy between the way we treat traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes,” said MTS Chief Executive Officer Paul Jablonski in a press release.
MTS joins other California transit agencies that have already banned the use of E-cigarettes including North County Transit District (NCTD), LA METRO and San Francisco’s BART.
In San Diego, MTS operates 95 bus routes and three Trolley lines on 53 miles of railway.
MTS says more than 300,000 passenger trips are taken on its buses and Trolley services every weekday. The transit service expects to set a new ridership records this year with more than 97 million riders.