published Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

MARTA approves crackdown on 'nuisance' riders

ATLANTA — Leaders of metro Atlanta's public transit system have approved a plan to crack down on riders who bother other passengers by begging, listening to loud music and being unruly.

MARTA's board on Monday approved a new code of conduct that allows the transit system's police to suspend unruly passengers from using the system for offenses such as spitting, panhandling, soliciting, eating or drinking. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that suspensions can range from one day to a year, and even a permanent ban in certain serious cases.

The effort is part of the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority's "Ride with Respect" campaign.

MARTA executives say that so-called nuisance crimes cause people to avoid riding the trains and buses -- and they want to improve public perceptions about safety.

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