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June 03, 2009

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Nora M.

When in Bermuda, I used the transit system, and was impressed by interactions between drivers and teens. More than once, teens would board noisy and rambunctious, and the driver's stare alone quieted them--they also insisted kids give up their seats for elders, disabled riders or pregnant women. I saw one student refuse, and the driver opened the door and in the friendliest voice possible said, well, I guess you will walk today.

Transit professional

There is no such thing as 'free.' Taxpayers are basically subsidizing their rides 100%. Receiving something you did not earn also inspires resentment since you are basically undermining their dignity and self-worth. It is no wonder people who get free things from government are most resentful of government.

There is also a difference between rambunctious, playful behavior and rowdy, unlawful behavior which is often confused. Those who don't like rambunctious teens should just learn to deal with it or live in a remote cabin in the woods. However, when teens cross the line, there should be consistent and credible enforcement and punishment. Teens respect authority if it's consistent and credible, and enforcers treat them with assertive respect. Teens in general should not be blamed for the few who break the law just as all adult riders are not blamed for the few adults who break the law. We should continue encouraging teen ridership but at a discount and not for free.

Steve Hirano

Nora,

You make a good point. The driver is the first line of defense against rowdyism. If she/he does not show a willingness to deter misbehavior, that will embolden the perpetrators and create more anxiety among the other passengers.

Thanks for the input.

Steve

Paul

Steve, as Nora relates, transit operators set the tone for each of their trips and most incidents can be mitigated with good bus operator training. Transit agencies should also have written policies that outline what behavior is acceptable and or unacceptable to ride on their system.
Unrully passengers will have a direct impact on ridership since ordinary patrons will avoid using the system unless no other alterantive for them exist.
Habitual offenders of your agencies policies should be dealt with immediately and consistently, operators should communicate the problem to the disptcher and a supervisor and or Law Enforcement officer should respond and remove the unrully passengers. It is very important for the transit agency to back up the operator and work to resolve the issue rather than bandaid it. Signage could be used on the bus that states what behaviors will be cause for removal from the system. I believe transit systems should encourage and train young people to ride their system through marketing strategies that take place at the area schools.
Hope this helps!
Regards, Paul.

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