King County Metro, the transit department serving communities across Washington State, including Seattle, has instituted an anti-harassment campaign to reduce instances of harassment on public transit.
Developed in coordination with community members and employees, the campaign sets a clear expectation for respectful behavior. King County Metro has implemented signs on train cars that inform riders on how to get help in an emergency and encourage reporting incidents of harassment.
Leading with the headline, "It’s OK to Say 'That’s Not OK,'" the signs then include specific language referencing the Code of Conduct. "All harassment – physical, verbal, intimidation – is wrong," read the signs. "Speak up. Keep transit safe for all."
Depending on the situation and the person’s own comfort level, there are three actions for riders to choose from:
- Tell the driver.
- Fill out an online comment form or call the customer service office.
- Call or text 9-1-1 if there is an emergency.
Available in King County but not nationwide, “Text-to-9-1-1” is helpful for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired or in an unsafe situation.
Reporting allows the transit department to better allocate resources and to continue to improve the rider experience. While Metro created this campaign at the request of and in partnership with organizations that are disproportionately affected by harassment and violence, the visuals intentionally do not show specific communities to avoid amplifying hate or reinforcing stereotypes.
The “It’s OK to say 'That’s not OK!'” campaign will appear across Metro trains in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese.