MTA launches new 'Courtesy Counts' ad campaign as ridership records continue

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
MTA reminds New Yorkers 'Courtesy Counts' via new campaign
The MTA unveiled the launch of a new campaign, called "Courtesy Counts," that aims to remind customers to follow MTA's Code of Conduct. Kemberly Richardson has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- As transit ridership continues to trend upwards, the MTA is zeroing in on a new focus: travel etiquette.

Starting Tuesday, riders will see digital illustrations in the subway, on Metro North, buses and the LIRR with messages reminding transit customers what to do and what not to do while traveling.

It's part of the MTA's new campaign, aptly titled "Courtesy Counts."

The aim of the campaign is to remind customers to follow the MTA Code of Conduct and treat fellow riders and public spaces with respect.

"In our busy lives, it's easy to forget that your own individual behavior can have an impact on your fellow riders' commute, and even their day, so why not be courteous," said Acting Chief Customer Officer and Senior Advisor Shanifah Rieara. "The goal isn't to lecture anyone, we just wanted to have a little bit of fun explaining our Rules of Conduct as ridership continues to grow."

A total of 34 illustrations will appear system-wide with messages reminding customers to keep some of the following in mind: keep seats clear for other riders, keep pets in carriers and service animals leashed, let people on and off the train without obstruction, not talking loudly on the phone, wear headphones, give everyone room to stand, not laying down taking up multiple seats, and not smoking or vaping among other things.

"At New York City Transit, we are laser focused on delivering customers faster, cleaner, and safer service," said NYC Transit President Richard Davey in a statement. "We've stepped up, adding service on a number of subway lines and raising on-time performance to its highest level in decades. Now, we're asking our customers to do their part by showing respect to their fellow New Yorkers and by helping us keep trains and buses moving by following the Rules of Conduct."

Some of the displayed messages riders can expect to see include "If you don't make the train, don't make it wait," "Let's clear the air," "Leave some seat for the rest of us," "Pull the plug," "Watch your backpack," "Seats are for butts, not your bags," and "Your pet shouldn't come if they can't stay" among other ads.

The new campaign coincides with a post-pandemic increase in commuters.

The MTA recently reported a record-breaking period for transit ridership with Sept. 20 seeing 4.2 million paid rides on subways, surpassing the previous post-pandemic high of 4.1 million set just a day before.

Commuter railroads also saw post-pandemic highs with the LIRR recording 242,202 riders on Sept. 20, surpassing the previous high set in June 2023.

Metro-North Railroad also set its post-pandemic record on Sept. 19 with a tally of 224,426 riders. Bus ridership, meanwhile, surpassed 1.5 million paid ridership, marking the first time since May 2023.

The Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 team weigh in on their pet peeves while riding public transportation:

As transit ridership continues to trend upwards, the MTA is zeroing in on a new focus: respect.


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