Those Back Doors

I’ve been noticing that the yellow “Touch here to open” strips on the back doors of Metro’s newest trolley buses have been blacked out – covered over with black tape.

I think I first noticed it on a trolley a couple of days ago. I thought the door was in need of repair, like the strips had broken, or something. Then, later, I saw it on another bus, and then another. This morning, exiting the 47 at Westlake Station, through the back door, I formed the theory that Metro has discontinued the passenger-operated back door feature.

I think it was a nice feature, but I’m not sad to see it go. (Assuming my theory is correct.) I personally liked it, but I empathize with my fellow passengers’ confusion. There’s not many doors we encounter that require us to touch a yellow strip to open. That drawing of a full hand was confusing, as well – it looked as if you needed to place your full palm against the door – or worse, push on the door – to make it open. (I’ve opened those doors with a light touch of a single fingertip.) I wonder how much damage those doors have suffered from the repeated, unnecessary pushing.

I haven’t found any information about why – damage on the doors, customer feedback, safety, or something else – but it seems I’ve opened my last bus door.

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