Peter van den Bossche

Peter van den Bossche

Rowdy groups, saving seats and “hands-free coughing and sneezing” are the winning gripes in a customer survey that will be used to choose the next set of posters in Metra’s “Ride Nice” courtesy campaign.

The survey in January asked customers to vote for the subjects they would like to see addressed in the second series of posters in the onboard courtesy campaign. Customers were asked to choose from a list of suggestions — such as littering and saving seats — or submit their own. “Taking over the train with a rowdy group” was the behavior that most concerned survey respondents, followed by “hands-free sneezing and coughing,” “saving a seat for a sometimes imaginary sometimes not friend,” “eating something stinky,” and “prematurely clogging the aisles.”

The first series of posters, which launched in July 2016, addressed hogging seats, blocking aisles, talking too loudly, excessive personal grooming, and putting feet on seats. The humorous posters remind customers to think about how their behavior may affect their fellow passengers.

“We were very pleased with the amount of feedback and input we received from our customers in this survey,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “Our campaign will continue to gently remind riders to behave courteously toward one another, and we hope our customers will enjoy the new posters as much as the previous ones.”

Customers can expect to see the new series, which will reflect their survey responses, in the summer. As with the entirety of the “Ride Nice” courtesy campaign, the new posters will be produced in-house, and printing them will be the agency’s only expense.

About a quarter of survey respondents chose to submit their own suggestions. The most popular subject was passenger noise, with customers noting behaviors such as phone conversations on the Quiet Cars and excessively loud snoring. Discourteous behavior with regard to seating was also commonly suggested, including riders pretending to be asleep so that they wouldn’t have to move their things and folks kneeing the back of the seat in front of them.

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