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Better behaviour on GO transit after etiquette campaign

Metrolinx launched the campaign last April after a survey showed people were irked by customers putting their feet up.

Posters such as this have been appearing on GO trains, buses and platforms since last April.

Torstar News Service file

Posters such as this have been appearing on GO trains, buses and platforms since last April.

Looks like Metrolinx’s message on manners is getting through.

Six months after launching its online etiquette campaign targeting customers who display inappropriate behaviour while on GO trains and buses, the transit corporation says etiquette fails are down across the board.

Since April this year, Metrolinx started using posters on the platforms and inside the trains and buses as well as on social media, reminding riders to pay attention to their behaviours and avoid disturbing fellow passengers.

At the time, a survey had showed nearly 70 per cent were irked by people who put their feet up on the seats.

Results from a recent survey show as many as 85 per cent of respondents are aware of the campaign, and nearly 40 per cent have noticed a decrease in inappropriate behaviour while transiting.

Those are encouraging numbers, said Metrolinx’s spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins.

“Changing behaviours is a big deal. It doesn’t happen overnight,” she said.

Other discourteous behaviours on the list include loud talking on cellphones inside the trains or on platforms, littering, and putting bags and other belongings on seats.

Most of these offences are not bylaw violations, but safety officers can issue a $75 fine to guilty riders. Enforcement is quite lax however, and Aikins says it’s better to rely on customers’ cooperation.

“We don’t have enough staff to be patrolling every train looking for bad behaviours,” she said. “We just hope to get more people thinking and talking about this.”

Box numbers from the summer survey:

- 36 per cent of respondents have noticed less etiquette fails.

- 33 per cent feel more empowered to address etiquette issues with fellow riders.

- The #EtiquetteFail hashtag generated 1,926 more impressions on Twitter.

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