MTA unveils ‘Courtesy Counts’ campaign

Oct. 4, 2023
The campaign is a multi-agency campaign that consists of 34 illustrations that remind customers to follow the MTA’s Code of Conduct and treat fellow riders and public spaces with respect.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has unveiled Courtesy Counts, a multi-agency campaign reminding customers to follow the MTA’s Code of Conduct and treat fellow riders and public spaces with respect. The 34 illustrations that will be a part of this campaign feature a variety of creative artwork with messaging reminding transit customers about different ways to respect fellow riders and encourage courteous behavior in public spaces.

Examples of messages that will appear in the system include keeping seats clear for other riders, keeping pets in carriers and service animals leashed, letting people on and off the train without obstruction, not talking loudly on the phone, wearing headphones, giving everyone room to stand, not laying down taking up multiple seats, not smoking or vaping, not holding the doors, not charging electric vehicles, not leaving the emergency exit door open for others to enter without paying the fare, not leaving a bike unattended or obstructing space and not littering.

“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 MTA 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.”

“This campaign is especially important for the disability community and reminds customers what a difference it can make to keep doorways clear or give up your seat to someone who needs it,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer and Senior Advisor Quemuel Arroyo. “While New Yorkers are busy and have a lot going on, we can all take a second to do the right thing and let another rider have an enjoyable time and pleasant ride.

Riders will start seeing rolling images throughout the transit system, displaying messages to remind customers to not block doors, watch their backpacks, clear the aisle ways, make seats available for those that need them, among other reminders.

Digital ads will be displayed on a rolling basis in subway cars, buses, Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and MTA Metro-North trains and in station platforms across the system. The campaign will also appear on social media and on pamphlet cards that will be handed out to customers.

“The Courtesy Counts campaign is a great reminder of who we are as New Yorkers, the way we would like to be treated and the way we ought to treat each other. I’m glad at the MTA, we can make this front and center,” said New York City (NYC) Transit Senior Vice President of Subways Demetrius Crichlow. “The amazing men and women who for transit do their part, but individual behavior also plays a role. It’s important to be kind and courteous.”

 “At New York City Transit, we are laser focused on delivering customers faster, cleaner and safer service,” said NYC Transit President Richard Davey. “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.”

The campaign was launched following a record-breaking period for transit ridership. In September, the NYC Subway recorded its highest post-pandemic single-day total for paid rides on consecutive days. On Sept. 20, subways recorded 4,179,902 paid rides, surpassing the previous post-pandemic high of 4,144,828 set just a day before on Sept. 19.

 The commuter railroads also saw post-pandemic highs. LIRR set a post-pandemic record on Sept. 20, carrying 242,202 riders and surpassing the previous high set on June 21, 2023. Metro-North Railroad set its post-pandemic record on Sept. 19, carrying 224,426 riders. This surpassed the previous total set on June 20 when Metro-North carried 224,371 riders. In addition to the overall post-pandemic high, on Oct. 2, MTA Metro-North celebrated its highest ridership on a Monday since the pandemic with 192,103 paid rides.

NYC bus paid ridership also continues to trend upward. On Sept. 14, buses surpassed the 1.5 million paid ride mark for the first time since May 17, 2023.

“With Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road continuing to set post-pandemic ridership records, it’s a great time to remind customers to show common courtesy while riding with us,” said LIRR Interim President and MTA Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi. “Simple things like keeping the aisles clear and throwing out trash give all of our customers a better experience while traveling with us.”