Metro Manners make a better ride

The thing with public transportation is that you’re going to have to interact with the general public when you ride. That’s not really an issue for many people. But every so often, we all come across some super rude riders who block doors, put their filthy sneakers up on the seats or chow down on a bag of sunflower seeds and leave nasty seed hulls everywhere for someone else to clean up.

I’m heavily involved with Metro’s social media channels and we hear about these kind of issues from riders all the time. We know it’s a big concern among those who use our system — and we know bad manners among some customers are the reason that some people choose not to ride. They just don’t want to deal with it.

Thus, the three above videos starring transit-riding magical girl Super Kind and her arch-nemesis, Rude Dude. Follow along as Super Kind gently persuades Rude Dude that seat hogging, eating on buses and trains and blocking aisles are not super awesome public behaviors.

Hey Rude Dude, no eating on buses or trains! Photo: Sela Shiloni

We put a lot of effort into these videos in hopes they would be seen by a ton of people, including most of our riders. Yes, Metro has a Customer Code of Conduct that outlines the dos and don’ts for riders. And, yes, while our law enforcement partners enforce those rules, they can’t police every single bus and train every hour of the day — although Metro has increased the security presence on the system this year.

To a large extent, it’s up to you, dear riders, to help us make going Metro a more pleasant and comfortable experience. Please use your Metro Manners the next time you ride. Don’t be Rude Dude, be Super Kind! We believe in you. 🙂

Is that Super Kind behavior? If not, please reconsider!

The videos are directed by Mike Diva and star Anna Akana. Original concept by Metro.

16 replies

  1. Another thing not addressed – senior/disabled seating is not respected, nor enforced.

    Also, I saw one person smoking on the platform at the 7th/Metro station, very near the employee office – and no-one spoke to him, much less ticketed him.

    The bicycle issue – I have brought a bicycle on the Expo line, following directions – most bicycle riders simply don’t care – they CHOOSE the end doors because there’s room near the operator door, and wind up blocking the operator door as well as the entry doors.

    Strollers – I had one person block the senior seat and take up the two adjacent passenger seats to accommodate her stroller and packages (on the red line).

    People are rude – and behavior will not improve unless there is at least some attempt at enforcement. I too have seen officers checking TAP cards rather than informing people about rude behavior (I have not seen targeted enforcement – that is, those checking TAP cards check all of them, regardless of apparent ethnicity).

    • The idea for the videos — Super Kind and Rude Dude — was conceived by Metro staff as part of an extensive campaign to promote better manners on the Metro system. The agency used a production firm (Lord Danger) and ad planning agency (Civilian) to produce and market the videos.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  2. Thought on my mind. Videos are good, and what about empoyees modeling respectful, kind, and compasionate behaviors. Hire one hundred real people to model on the trains. Not all of us had great soical models.

  3. “Garden-variety” rudeness, while often annoying and sometimes infuriating to Metro passengers, is not as bad as specific outright violations of law–for example, smoking (whether tobacco or marijuana) on train cars, buses, or train platforms, or at bus stops.

    When is the last time that deputy sheriffs or even LAPD assigned to patrol Metro property have issued am actual citation for such a clear legal offense, or even merely has compelled a smoker to get off a Metro train, train platform, or bus because they were violating the law by smoking?

    This problem of illegal smoking is worst on the Red Line, the Blue Line, and certain bus lines (e.g., 60/760).

    When is Metro going to make a concerted effort to deal with this problem? I hear many more of Metro’s “public-service announcements” regarding not walking or standing too close to the edge of a rail platform than about refraining from illegally smoking–which, unlike rudeness, directly harms the health of OTHER Metro passengers.

    Of course, the contracting law-enforcement agencies would actually have to SHOW UP on Metro trains/buses/platforms in order to make an impact. While I occasionally see LAPD at Union Station or 7th Street Station, and even on the Red Line, sheriff’s deputies are notable by their absence (in their area of responsibility outside of L.A. City).

  4. Metro has to make it easier to report conditions on trains and busses.

    On Monday afternoon, I rode the Blue Line from Willow to Pico. Around Willowbrook, someone got on with a boom box and blasted it almost the whole ride. Luckily, I had my earphones, but felt bad for the other passengers.

    When I got off at Pico, I asked Metro security how someone could report an incident. He indicated you have to download an app then take a photo and send it through the app. Couldn’t a text number be put into place to make it easier for passengers?

    • I’ve asked repeatedly for this and also been told over and over about the app. In Denver, they have the ability to send a text message to their security department:

      Perhaps if Metro Los Angeles should hire an executive or security professional from Denver?

    • In this particular, while not the best option, would probably be exit the train, jump to the next car and let the operator know of the situation and insist that police should handle the problem.

      It annoys the hell out of me, but the one other thing I’ve done to shut those people up is by playing their own game, so instead of obnoxious rap, I’ll play some really loud Jazz for 5 min then suddenly the culprit gets off. Have done it twice, not the best choice, but if it means a quiet ride the rest of the way then so be it.

  5. I think the biggest problem is young people who have no respect for anyone. I have seen young people get on a crowded train, with girls pushing strollers and the proceed to go down the crowded train with their strollers bumping people and telling them to get out the way while the young men with them start telling people they better move or else they will move them. When they were informed that the train is full and there is nowhere to move, the young people start getting loud and ignorant talking about how people better start getting out of the way or else. I have seen this behavior multiple times.
    Or the young person on the phone talking so loud the people in the next car can hear them. The other rude thing is when someone sits down and puts their backpack, purse or briefcase in the seat next to them and then refuses to move it for people to sit down. I have actually grabbed the backpack handed it to them and asked, “Is this yours?”. and then sit down. The officers on the train, the very few times I have actually seen them on a train, only seemed to care about harassing minorities by checking their Tap card rather than telling people to not seat hog, leave trash or have loud, cuss filled phone conversations.

  6. The rudest behavior I’ve encountered was someone sneezing right onto the back of my head. I got sick 3 days later, lost wages, & stopped riding after that. Can you make some media addressing uncovered coughing & sneezing? Maybe there’s additional funding for that from public health agencies.

    • This!! I really don’t mind the seat hogging or the eating as well, that may be Metros fault in itself as there has been times where I have been forced to be even more late to my destination because of the delays in the system and having to stop to eat something first. So I can understand someone eating on the train, provided they actually pick after themselves.

      But the one thing I really despise is people cough with out cover. However, this shouldn’t be an issue that Metro should point out. Rather, it is ones respondsibility to know better than to spread their cold or flu around.

      Still wondering if the stomach flu I got last year was a result in me using public transit.

      • Actually, I mentioned the cough without covering mouth phenomenon yesterday to the folks who were in charge of the videos here.

        Steve Hymon
        Editor, The Source