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Campaign addresses courtesy issues most frequently raised by customers

October 10, 2007

NEWARK, NJ — NJ TRANSIT today unveiled an innovative public service campaign intended to provoke discussion about customer courtesy issues and improve the on-board experience following discussions with riders. The campaign, dubbed "We’re all in this together," addresses courtesy issues such as loud talking, inconsiderate cell phone use, taking up more than one seat, and littering.

"We know from our customers that courtesy issues affect the on-board experience," said NJ TRANSIT Board Member Flora Castillo. "We’ve listened to them, and we are helping them in getting the word out to their fellow riders to follow common courtesy when commuting on public transportation."

"In many ways, public transportation gives people freedom—the freedom to work, talk, sleep or use electronic devices, without worrying about traffic," said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles. "But the limits of freedom can become apparent when the person next to you forgets basic courtesy."

About 50 percent of the courtesy complaints NJ TRANSIT receives can be attributed to cell phone use and loud talking. Other common courtesy-related complaints include taking up too many seats and littering.

To gain further understanding of courtesy issues from a customer perspective, NJ TRANSIT conducted two customer focus groups this summer, consisting of regular commuters, as well as occasional leisure travelers. Customers provided feedback on several proposed courtesy campaigns and selected "We’re all in this together" for its bold graphics and effective messages.

Through of a series of posters appearing in stations and aboard trains, customers will be exposed to striking images and strong text that ask them to be mindful of how their behavior affects other passengers.

The campaign consists of a series of three different posters, each featuring a single provocative image that catches the eye, along with a strong headline to capture attention. The poster that addresses loud talking, for example, features the headline, "I Can’t Take the Noise!" paired with the image of a man in a business suit plugging his ears with his fingers.

Each poster features a prominent black and white graphic against a bold, purple and green background. In the poster that addresses noise, it simply reads, "Please keep your voice, cell phone & music low."

"Knowing that we have an astute customer base, we needed to get people’s attention, and these posters are a little edgy with a hint of humor," said Castillo. "This campaign is our way of opening a dialogue about courtesy issues among our passengers—to say, ‘We’re all in this together.’"

"How Many Seats Do You Need?" a poster that addresses the issue of taking up more than one seat, features a line of text that reads, "Seats are for people, please stow your stuff." An image of a woman that appears to be screaming in frustration drives home the message for customers to avoid using the seat next to them as their personal storage space for coats and bags.

To remind customers to take their trash with them when leaving the train, the poster with the headline, "Clean Your Room," features a stern-looking man with his arms folded across his chest who seems to be glaring at his audience. The short, to-the-point text reads, "Your dad was right. Please take your trash off the train."

The first 750 posters will be installed on trains throughout the system beginning next week. Plans are underway to introduce a similar campaign on buses and light rail vehicles.


NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing nearly 865,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 11 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 162 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.