The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) introduced the “Courtesy Critters” as part of its latest “Courtesy Counts” campaign. This is the fifth campaign in twelve years the agency launched as a friendly reminder to all of its customers of some things to keep in mind to ensure all riders have a pleasant and comfortable trip.
This is the first time the campaign has used such a light, humor-based tone to get these important messages across. Using the voice of various animals related to the reminder is done to make riders smile while reinforcing public transit etiquette.
“Riding the T every day, I know how important it is to be respectful and kind to fellow passengers as well as operators,” said MBTA GM Dr. Beverly Scott. “Sometimes we need to be reminded of the basics and hopefully it will make everyone’s commute a more pleasant one.”
The suggestions given in the campaigns are based on common customer feedback and suggestions, such as sneezing into your elbow or giving up your seat for the elderly or disabled. The newest reminder — to be courteous to bus and train operators — has been added as the result of a recent string of abusive incidents targeting drivers. A cast of crabs is coming on board to remind riders to be nice to operators — and how much they appreciate it when you are.
The crabs will join five other groups of animals to bring these friendly reminders to customers, including a group of pigs and piglets that have come together to remind riders not to hog a seat, especially from an elderly or disabled person who might need it more, and a posse of parrots that might squawk, but know not to do it on the phone in a crowded bus or train.
Six different signs were designed in-house in the MBTA’s Marketing Communications department & a total of 2,400 signs will be put up throughout the MBTA system, in both trains and buses.