Why would Denver RTD want its mascot to be a total jerk?

Yes, we get it, there are rude jerks on mass transit everywhere.

But once again, it seems like the public-transportation industry is missing an opportunity. With the Denver Regional Transportation District’s ridership heading downward, couldn’t the system try inspiring people about its product rather than highlighting the things that people think are its worst aspects?

A loud man talking in public about his close call with an STD is the new face of a major mass transit system. Denver’s Regional Transportation District has just unveiled its new rider-behavior campaign, which revolves around the central character of “Jimmy,” a cartoon commuter with several behavioral problems.

“Jimmy’s the name…. Ruining your ride’s my game,” Jimmy menaces in one graphic. The RTD rolled out this boor to publicize its inaugural code of conduct, adopted in December.

Lisa Trujillo, manager of Project Outreach at RTD, said, “This campaign was developed to start a conversation, sway from traditional etiquette messaging, and provide passengers with something to think about while riding transit.”

As I’ve said before, getting people to ride transit, the bus, rail, bike, and walk will require simple, powerful, consistent, and, most importantly, positive messages about the experience.

Read more at CityLab

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