RFTA issued a reminder on Tuesday that starting Saturday, June 9, open containers of all alcoholic beverages will be prohibited on all of the transit agency’s buses.
However, “Transportation of closed alcoholic containers is allowed,” a RFTA press release says.
The ban on open consumption is an effort to improve the safety and security of personnel and passengers, officials have said. RFTA’s board of directors officially decided to prohibit open alcoholic containers during a meeting in early March.
“The allowance of the consumption of alcohol on the bus has created an atmosphere that gives the impression that anything goes, which has led to other problematic and disruptive behavior,” says a memo from RFTA chief operating officer Kurt Ravenschlag to the board earlier this year. The memo adds that “the number of alcohol-related disturbances on buses appears to be on the rise.”
The decision follows a number of measures taken by the board earlier this year to improve the safety, security and overall experience for all RFTA personnel and passengers, the release says. Tuesday’s news release is part of a public awareness campaign RFTA will revisit at various points throughout the year.
RFTA drivers have been undergoing training to deal with on-board, open-container situations, according to the news release. The transit agency is working with local law enforcement to ensure that the policy is enforced. Action will be taken in the event of serious violations.
RFTA says it believes the policy change will be welcomed by passengers and expects to see voluntary compliance, in most cases. “RFTA expects passengers to adapt easily to the ban of open alcoholic containers, as this rule is applied in most every other public space or form of public transportation that people are used to,” the release concludes.
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