Managers at Metro on Thursday unveiled details of a new passenger safety campaign. In fact, there are two campaigns: one aimed at modifying unsafe passenger behavior during emergencies, and one aimed at modifying unsafe routine passenger behavior, like running on train platforms.
In January, about 200 frustrated Green Line passengers decided on their own to evacuate a stalled underground train. Metro managers consider unsupervised train evacuations as inherently dangerous. New, simple posters are now coming to Metrorail cars. The posters will say clearly "stay on the train" during emergencies unless otherwise directed.
The new posters also warn of dangers during a track evacuation, including "high voltage and [other] moving trains." The posters will glow in the dark, in case of low lighting during an emergency.
Metro managers say most passenger injuries don't happen during emergencies; they happen because of unwise behavior from customers.
"I witness it every day as I ride the Red Line and commute to work," said Metro communications manager Lynn Bowersox at a meeting of the Safety Committee of the board that oversees Metro.
Bowersox said she routinely witnesses, "People running. People holding [open train] doors. People pushing babies in strollers on escalators."
Passengers pushing strollers are supposed to use Metro's elevators.
Managers say they have surveyed Metro passengers in focus groups, and the passengers say they want posted visual reminders of what behaviors are good and bad.
Managers showed a poster from another transit system showing a foolish customer with the head of a donkey trying to force open a train's doors.
The forthcoming Metro version reminds passengers that the train doors do not "bounce-back" like elevator doors, and passengers attempting to force them open therefore risk injury. The new posters also warn against running on platforms, and advise against standing too close to the edge of the platform.
The new safety posters will appear in Metro stations, rail cars and inside and outside of Metrobuses.