Management & Operations

NYCT courtesy campaign aims to stop 'manspread'

Posted on December 23, 2014

MTA NYC Transit is unveiling its “Courtesy Counts, Manners Make a Better Ride” placard campaign, which urges customers to be aware that just a few courteous actions can make trains and buses run more efficiently while creating an atmosphere that can make a daily commute more pleasant and less stressful.

In January, a series of placards will begin appearing inside subway cars and then buses and the commuter railroads in February. They will bear gentle, but firm reminders pointing out common courtesies that can make traveling by mass transit more enjoyable for everyone. The messages serve to remind the MTA’s 8.6 million daily customers that they can help make the trip quicker and more pleasant by demonstrating a personal, consistent commitment to courtesy.

“Courtesy is always important but it takes on an added significance as transit ridership continues to increase,” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “The simple act of stepping aside to let riders off the train before you board can trim valuable seconds from the time a train dwells in a station while removing a backpack makes more room for everyone. These acts serve to speed the trip while increasing the level of comfort.”

The new program, developed by MTA Corporate Communications, highlights behaviors that are both encouraged and discouraged for the benefit of everyone. The messaging largely reflects complaints and suggestions from riders.

The colorfully-designed placards employ simple graphics to illustrate behavioral “do” and “don’t” scenarios. The illustrations are reinforced with pithy statements.

Do’s include:
• “Step Aside to Let Others Off First”
• “Keep Your Stuff to Yourself”
• “Take Your Pack Off Your Back”
• “Offer Your Seat to an Elderly, Disabled, or Pregnant Person”
• “Take Your Litter Off With You”
• “Keep the Sound Down”

No No’s include:
• “Pole Are For Your Safety, Not Your Latest Routine”
• “Clipping? Primping?”
• “Don’t be a Pole Hog”
• “It’s a Subway Car Not a Dining Car”
• “Blocking Doors”
• “Dude…..Stop the Spread, Please”

The 46-inch or 72-inch placards will be installed on 2,600 subway cars and plans are currently underway to add subway car announcements to the campaign. Additional campaigns will be created for buses and both the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad. All of the topics and suggestions are intended to raise rider awareness of what they can do to create a better trip for everyone. The placards will be consistent reminders that courteous behavior is in everybody’s best interest for a more comfortable trip.

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