WMATA “Free Speech Activity” rules

If you intend to petition or leaflet at a Metro station, it’s obviously worth knowing what is and is not OK with WMATA. So here are the relevant parts of the “Regulation Concerning the Use By Others of WMATA Property and Related Board Resolutions” (September 2007):

Section 100.7 Definitions:

[…] (l) “Free Speech Activity” means the organized exercise of rights and privileges that deal with political, religious, or social matters and are non-commericial.
[…]

Section 100.10 Free Speech Activities

(a) Activities. This section applies to free speech activities as defined in Section 100.7.

(b) Location. Free speech activities are permitted in the free-area – “above ground” of Metro stations. All free speech activities are to take place at a distance greater than fifteen (15) feet from any escalator, stairwell, faregate, mezzanine gate, kiosk, or fare card machine. In no instances are any free speech activities to take place in the paid or platform areas of the station, or in the underground portions of stations. No free speech activities may interfere with the pedestrian traffic flow in the usual egress and ingress to the station proper or to the faregate.

(c) Leafleting. The distribution of leaflets in connection with free speech activities is permitted.

(d) Prohibitions. No individual carrying out free speech activities will carry out any commercial activity. Those carrying out free speech activities will not:

  1. Distribute food or drink or tobacco.
  2. Post any commercial signs, advertisements, circulars, or printed material.
  3. Set up up any tables or other portable equipment. This prohibition does not apply to official use by local jurisdictions at those stations where WMATA has determined that space is available.
  4. Carry any signs or placards that are more than 18” x 18” or are affixed to a pole.
  5. Affix any material to any part of the WMATA structure.
  6. Permit leaflets or other printed material to be left unattended.

(Emphases added)

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