You Stink… If You Blink

The T has introduced a new campaign to improve courtesy on its trains and buses.  I applaud the sentiment, at least.  On the Green Line we contend with these (top three) acts of rudeness every day:

  1. Refusing to Move Back. People fill the front third of the train, forcing newcomers to wedge themselves in a doorway, while leaving the rear so empty there are free seats.  Don’t be afraid of the stairs (that’s climacophobia).
  2. Blocking Doors.  Obviously someone has to stand by the door when the train is crowded, but when the door opens you need to step aside — preferably onto the street.  You’ll be able to get back in.
  3. Playing Loud Music.  Subways already produce 90 to 115 decibels (dBA) of sound, and I can hear your music from 10 meters away.  Enough!  I wouldn’t mind as much if I ever heard a nice Rachmaninov melody in the air, but it’s only ever rap music!

When the T last tried a courtesy campaign, they gave out free Dunkin Donuts coupons to people seen doing polite things.  This time, they’ve just made a series of signs.  “Don’t be a Lout.  Let them out.”  The font on the signs is vaguely reminiscent of Harry Potter’s title font—appropriate, since only magic can make this campaign work.

I particularly enjoy this “button” from the MBTA’s “Commuter Rail Maps and Schedules” page:

MBTA's Courtesy Counts Campaign


Once again paraphrasing Josh Lyman: the blinking is what really makes it art.

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