CTA ad campaign takes on bad behavior

SHARE CTA ad campaign takes on bad behavior

The CTA wants you to know your bus fare doesn’t include maid service.

In a bold new ad campaign, the transit agency reminds riders of the do’s and don’ts of riding on mass transit, and it takes on various rude behaviors, including littering and loud music.

An ad depicts riders sitting in neck-high garbage with the tagline: “Your maid doesn’t work here” and with the straightforward request: “Please don’t leave your crap behind.”

“We wanted to have both eye-catching visuals and copy that really captured riders’ attention,” CTA spokesman Brian Steele said.

In the first run of the campaign, which riders will begin to see Wednesday morning on trains, buses and at stations, the CTA is taking on 13 bad behaviors, including what should be well-known no-nos such as placing a bag on an empty seat (The CTA says: “As fabulous as it is, your bag is not entitled to its own seat); talking loudly on a cellphone (“Trust us — we DON’T want to know) and preventing a pregnant woman from taking a seat on a crowded train (Remember, your mother was pregnant once).

But it also takes on lesser-known issues such as delays caused by riders crowding on train platforms and entering and exiting from just a few train cars.


The new ads are a response to observations by CTA staffers, customer service complaints and those gleaned on social media where people really take to calling out their fellow riders.

Earlier this month, Adam Rowe, 32, tweeted a picture of a guy sitting on the Addison bus with a large duffel bag taking up the empty seat next to him.

“Here is a man being that guy aboard the 152 Addison this morning,” Rowe wrote, adding the hashtag: #oneseatperpersonplease.

The CTA hasn’t done an ad campaign like this since 2002, when it introduced naughty, stick-figure “Jack” and the more-straightforward “Don’t be Jack” ads.


It wants the new, saucy campaign to help spur better behavior and some talk about the issues.

“We really think these ads will make people stop and do a double take,” Steele said. “We hope it puts a smile on their faces because it recognizes behaviors they’ve seen before and secondarily, they recognize CTA has been listening.”

So-called “manspreading” isn’t broached in the first round of ads, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be. But Steele said the CTA has received only two calls since December to complain about men spreading their legs as they ride public transit.

Kit Graham, 31, has a suggestion after someone riding on the bus with her clipped his nails — the unmistakable noise echoing on the Chicago Avenue bus.

Earlier this month, she tweeted: “Clipping your nails on the city bus is unacceptable.”

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