MARTA's "Ride With Respect" ad campaign is gaining steam, and it's clear the transit agency is serious about cracking down on "nuisance behaviors." Advertisements bluntly state that anyone who breaks MARTA's "New Code of Conduct" could be suspended, or worse. Testimonials from backpack-wearing people who look like college students extol the virtues of transit: "MARTA is important because it's cheaper than gas" and "MARTA ? gets you from point A to point B." One ad (see photo) rails against loud music on trains and features Kip Winger in plaid spandex and a wife-beater. (Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.) Last month, MARTA's Board of Directors approved the new policy to "curtail uncivil behavior" and transform the overall customer experience. The policy officially takes effect Nov. 9.
In a press release, MARTA officials explain that "Ride With Respect" was prompted by concerns from existing — and potential — MARTA customers. Under the new code of conduct, as highlighted in MARTA's ads, these types of things will be outlawed: solicitation, selling goods or services, loud music, spitting, littering, eating on transit vehicles, drinking on transit vehicles without re-sealable drink containers, fighting and general disruptive behavior.
MARTA CEO Keith T. Parker said the policy will be strengthened by a more robust police presence, new vehicle security cameras and a mobile phone app to report problems. "You should have the freedom to sit quietly and enjoy a peaceful ride on MARTA," Parker said in the release. Amen.
Any guesses on how they'll play up the anti-spitting ads?
[ABOVE: A sample ad from MARTA's "Ride With Respect" campaign.]
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