Boy did we hear from riders this weekend! We tried out three new on-board public service announcements to improve safety on Metro buses, but it sure didn’t turn out the way we hoped or expected. Based on quick and clear feedback from riders and transit operators, staff worked Sunday to take immediate steps to diligently remove the safety announcements. We’re working to make sure we remove them all, but a few stragglers might find their way into the Monday morning commute. We’ll take care of them all as quickly as possible. Our apologies for any aggravation, and thanks in advance for your patience.
The announcements, asking riders to “hold on” in English, Spanish and Mandarin, asking riders to “stand behind the yellow line” and that “illegal activities are recorded and reviewed” were driven by goals to improve the safety of our customers. We designed the announcements to be activated in rotation each time the bus door closed, or five minutes thereafter on longer trips. It is clear that this is too frequent based on customer and operator feedback, and there are challenges with finding the right volume level that can be heard clearly but isn’t too loud.
We’ll be reassessing and taking into consideration concerns about the volume, frequency and tone of the announcements before moving forward with any revised announcements, and be sure to share them with customers ahead of time.
Audio safety reminders are provided by other transit agencies across the country to meet similar goals. Our job is to try to meet our safety goals in a way that also works for our community and our riders.
We apologize for the irritation these announcements caused many riders this weekend and appreciate the feedback we received that led us to quickly act and make things right. Please share any further concerns you have with customer service at 206-553-3000 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or via form online. We take customer feedback very seriously and want to provide you with the best transit experience possible.