It's the holiday gift that's so hot it bursts into flames (sometimes).
The folks at regional passenger rail system Metrolink are concerned enough about notorious hoverboard fires and crashes that they are banning the devices altogether starting Monday.
“This was brought to our attention by passengers who were concerned,” said Metrolink spokeswoman Sherita Coffelt. “This was prudent given concerns about fires or people falling off the devices.”
Passengers can't even carry them onto trains, she said.
We asked Metro, which also runs most of the buses and trains you see around town, if they would follow suit. Not necessarily was the answer. Not yet.
Spokesman Jose Ubaldo pointed us to Metro policy that says riding such transportation devices (including skateboards and bicycles) on trains, buses or platforms is forbidden.
Here's the policy:
Wheeled riding devices including bicycles, skates, skateboards, kick scooters, and other wheeled riding devices except Wheelchairs and Mobility Aid Devices, may not be ridden in Metro facilities or vehicles, except for public bike or road ways clearly intended for those types of devices.
However, Ubaldo said, carrying a hoverboard with you on a bus, subway or light-rail trail is not prohibited. At least not yet. “They can carry those devices,” he said.
He said Metro officials could revise the rules later if there's fear that hoverboards will catch fire on trains and buses.
In the meantime the California State Fire Marshal has issued a statement to consumers urging them to be wary about which hoveboards they buy and how they're ridden.
Some news outlets have reported that fires have possibly been sparked by overcharging. But at least one report suggests that models with “cheap” lithium-ion batteries can go up in smoke if they're banged up.
Ubaldo said, “They look really dangerous so far.”