In a move that was undoubtedly inspired by the CTA's award-winning "Courtesy Campaign," Metra has recently rolled out a similar ad series of its own called "Ride Nice" with the hashtag #MetraManners. Metra is hoping to accomplish what the CTA has been able to in improving computer etiquette by calling out train misbehavior through humorous advertisements. However, Metra's campaign is scaled back compared to the CTA's, featuring only five ads currently. Since we know there's probably more misbehavior going unaddressed than what's in the campaign, here are some ideas for Metra to expand its campaign with:
Have your Ventra app ready: If you're not aware, the Ventra mobile app lets you buy Metra tickets from your phone. It's incredibly convenient and removes the hassle of paying for a ticket in cash once you board a train. However, if you choose this method of payment, make sure you have the app up and ready to go. It's frustrating for the conductor trying to do his job if you don't have the app up, or need to input all your payment information, or didn't check beforehand to make sure it's working on your phone. A little cognizance in this situation goes a long way for all parties involved. Especially for you, if you want to avoid getting thrown off the train.
Hold your liquor: One of the simple pleasures in life is enjoying an ice cold alcoholic beverage on a train ride through the scenic Chicago suburbs. Unfortunately, some people take this advantage of this privilege, getting absolutely bombed on the train before reaching its destination. Maybe consider saving some of your drinking stamina for your destination? More importantly, save your boorish behavior for a place that isn't a moving train.
Use the lavatory light: This usually goes hand-in-hand with the drunkards mentioned previously—particularly men—but it's good advice for everyone. If you use the lavatory, exercise some consideration and turn on the light so you can see in there. If you don't have a light, use the flashlight on your cell phone. The lavatory is a small space that has to be shared with everyone else on the train. Don't go in there in the dark and hope you can blindly aim your man-hose at the toilet. No one wants to step in pee puddles, and the staff shouldn't have to clean it up either.
Sleep at your own risk: Set an alarm if you're likely to doze off and you need to get off before the last stop. Nobody's going to wake you up. You snooze, you lose, unless you take the proper precautionary measures!
Don't fight noise with more noise on the quiet car: Obviously, anyone causing ruckus on one of the quiet cars should be gently reminded of where they are. The operative word there being "gently." A simple shush or soft reminder to them that they're in a quiet car will suffice. Don't try to be a hero and scream at people across the car for making a little noise. Once you do that, everyone else will start making noise and the car will just devolve into loud anarchy, completely defeating the purpose in the first place.
No teenagers allowed: If you think about it, teenagers are far more likely to cause trouble and commit the above offenses on the train than anyone else. They are a scourge on the Metra system and need to be stopped. Just put out an ad prohibiting teenagers from boarding the train without parental supervision and you probably won't even need this ad campaign anymore.