Cheer up the public transport

Time: 
Target group: 
Group size: 
An easy way to make sure everyone has experienced an action in your group, is to prepare a small, easy one. You can use this as a way of building your team. Many people have never taken part in anything like an action before, so do make sure that everyone feels comfortable.

We choose this action in particular as it is easy to join with different levels of participation, and it is possible to come along without actively doing anything other than just experiencing the atmosphere. The public transport action can be made with many different purposes, such as: a social angle - making travelers speak to each other and improve the social climate; an environmental angle - to promote the public transport instead of using cars (as it is such a nice mean of transportation); an artistic angle - reflecting on our role in everyday life; seeing the action as an installation, or, for example, as a reaction to a recent event, like violence in the public transport. 

Go through some different possible angles to what you are doing and let the group decide what they would like to communicate with it. Think about what you will answer when you will be asked by the other passengers. It is good to have a common idea of how you want the action to be received by the audience, but it is not a must.

How to prepare the action

Ask the participants to bring decorative elements with them from home, as for example plants, textile, carpets, small pictures, a washing line e.t.c. Briefly explain that there will be an action taking place, and what it will involve. When the participants arrive, explain what you will do, and that it is possible to be involved in different levels. Make sure everyone knows that they do not have to participate but can if they like.

Tell that different people in the public transport, as well as the authorities, could welcome or disapprove the action and what different scenarios would look like. Make a plan together on how to react to different reactions. Some people can join the action "under cover". People can then participate simply by starting conversations with other passengers or listening to different reactions of the public. You can stimulate different effects by for example setting up all at once when you are inside the public transport, or to set up a little by little, in a slower pace. The second option is often seen less intrusive from other passengers and sometimes people will spontaneously join the action by, for instance, spreading out their scarf over the seat, to make the seats more colorful. Before leaving to set up the action, make sure someone is responsible to document the action (if that is wished).

After setting up, enjoy the ride, speak with the other passengers and ride for as long as you decided in advance. Then carefully take down the installation, get to your meeting point and share your experiences.