Taking a Metro bus or train around L.A. can be a really rough ride. Passengers can be obnoxiously rude, selfish and inconsiderate. It’s an adventure to be sure, because you never know when you will encounter someone who is high on drugs or mentally ill or one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
Most tread very carefully, and ignore bad behavior out of concern for their personal safety.
But bad behavior on public transit is increasing and could hurt revenues. So, Metro is stepping up efforts to reinforce rider rules, hoping to attract and retain customers. The company is hoping riders won’t use other options like driving their own car, taking Lyft or Uber.
That’s why MTA and smaller regional transit agencies are launching etiquette campaigns.
These good manner reminders will appear on YouTube as well as in busses and trains.
According to MTA, those who commit these behaviors will be fined $75 per offense and be escorted off the vehicle:
• Disturbing others
• Disorderly, lewd conduct
• Placing chewing gum on seats
• Occupying more than one seat; blocking a door
• Riding a bicycle or skateboard in a station
• Fare evasion
Offenders are subject to being kicked off for 30 to 90 days for these violations:
• Playing loud music
• Eating, drinking, smoking, vaping
• Drinking alcohol
Taking up more than one seat is a common violation by both sexes. Women put purses in empty seats to prevent riders from sitting next to them. Men will take up more than one seat by spreading their knees wide apart, spilling over into the next seat and intimidating a woman looking for a seat. It’s called manspreading. Neither behavior is okay.
Profanity is another nuisance that most passengers put up with, but rarely address. Still it is another issue that makes riding on public transit unpleasant.
Rider satisfaction boils down to doing what we were taught—or should have been taught—as children. Be kind, courteous and considerate of others. Be willing to share. Understand public transit does not exist for our own personal comfort. It is a means to an end. We must all be mindful of other people’s rights to a peaceful, respectful and safe ride.