If you’ve ever received a backpack to the head or been shoved out of the way by someone trying to reach the doors, you know that riding the bus can be a harrowing adventure at times. The city is hoping to address these and other transit complaints through a new communication campaign aimed at informing riders on better bus etiquette.
Starting at the end of April and continuing over the next year, Busology will address topics including loud music, safety, security, backpacks, and safe boarding and exiting. It will accomplish this by displaying a series of print ads on buses and distributing short videos online through social media and the OC Transpo website. City Councillor Diane Deans, who is chair of the city’s transit commission, says the campaign will address those topics most frequently brought up by OC Transpo riders and bus operators.
Asked via email if the campaign will also address issues of violence, harassment and sexual assault on OC Transpo property, Deans says that Busology will encourage riders to bring incidents to drivers’ attention. “The campaign will address safety and emphasize customers’ ability to speak with Transit employees if something is not right,” she says.
While issues of safety and courtesy for passengers with disabilities won’t be addressed in the first wave of the campaign, Deans says this topic will be covered in a future phase. Xtra recently spoke with Lexi Botham, an Ottawa resident who has a disability and says she has experienced harassment on OC Transpo.
“The campaign will make the transit experience better for both OC Transpo operators and riders by highlighting those behaviours that are of concern to the majority of users,” Deans says.