MARTA is officially launching a campaign with a little more bite behind its positive message. The new “Ride With Respect” policy specifically focuses on nuisance behaviors and prohibits  activities including solicitation, selling goods or services, loud music, spitting, littering, eating on transit vehicles, drinking on transit vehicles without re-sealable drink containers, fighting and disruptive behavior – many of which are also violations of state law and could result in arrest.

Riders who violate the policy could be suspended from using MARTA for up to a year or potentially face a permanent ban. The policy goes into effect Nov. 9.

“Moving forward, MARTA will no longer tolerate bad behavior on our system,” said Frederick L. Daniels, Jr., Chairman of the MARTA Board, during a press conference this afternoon. “We are asking the community, elected officials and customers to join us in raising the bar and reinforcing the expectation that everyone deserves a safe, efficient and enjoyable ride on MARTA.”

Keith T. Parker, MARTA’s GM/CEO, said the policy – along with a more robust police presence, new vehicle security cameras and a mobile phone app to report problems – will make MARTA more attractive and help customers feel more comfortable.

“You should have the freedom to sit quietly and enjoy a peaceful ride on MARTA,” Parker explained. “ ‘Ride With Respect’ reaffirms our commitment to our customers and employees by curtailing undesirable behavior on our system.”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.