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If you take a look around MBTA trains and buses today, you might notice some new, furry faces -- in addition to the old ones.

The MBTA announced today the launch of "Courtesy Critters" as part of its latest "Courtesy Counts" campaign.

It's the fifth campaign in twelve years meant to serve as a "friendly reminder to all of its customers of some things to keep in mind to ensure all riders have a pleasant and comfortable trip."

 

This is the first time the campaign has used a "light, humor-based tone" to push courtesy on the T, and the first time the T has used animals to tug at the heart strings of otherwise cranky and disrespectful riders.

One of the posters features parrots on the T telling passengers not to "squawk on the phone."

"Riding the T every day, I know how important it is to be respectful and kind to fellow passengers as well as operators," said MBTA General Manager Beverly Scott. "Sometimes we need to be reminded of the basics and hopefully it will make everyone’s commute a more pleasant one."

The suggestions given in the campaigns are based on common customer feedback and suggestions; such as sneezing into your elbow or giving up your seat for the elderly or disabled, according to a spokesman for the T.

The newest reminder – to be courteous to bus and train operators – has been added as the result of a recent string of abusive incidents targeting drivers. A cast of crabs is coming on board to remind riders to be nice to operators – and how much they appreciate it when you are.

Crabby T riders? No way.

The crabs will join five other groups of animals to bring these friendly reminders to customers including a group of pigs and piglets that have come together to remind you not to hog a seat, especially from an elderly or handicapped person who might need it more than you and a posse of parrots that might squawk, but they know not to do it on the phone in a crowded bus or train.

Six different signs were designed in-house in the MBTA’s Marketing Communications department and a total of 2,400 signs will be put up throughout the MBTA system, in both trains and buses.

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