Under the motto "Groeten in Amsterdam" (salutations in Amsterdam), aldermen Eric Wiebes (Traffic) and Andrée van Es (Citizenship and Diversity) along with GVB board member Adrie Bolier (Director of Transportation) handed out tulips during the morning rush hour. They also spoke with passengers and staff: "What behavior is desirable in a tram and how do you address someone who is being asocial?".
Society in miniature
Wethouder Van Es: "I see crowds of people on trams, metros and buses as Amsterdam society in miniature: lots of different types of people living together in a small space. This requires tolerant and courteous behavior from everyone who uses public transportation."
GVB strongly believes that courtesy be given from both sides. Bart Schmeink, General Director GVB: "Each day, some 800,000 people travel with GVB. People with little time or plenty of time and who may be cheerful or moody. GVB becomes a part of the day in the life of the people who travel with us. Courteous behaviors, such as being friendly, greeting each other, and having more understanding for each other, are simple examples of what make a difference when people are in close contact with each other. And that is why we support this day.
"The 'courteousness intervention' on 22 March is the first step in the collaboration between the municipality and the transportation company to encourage courtesy. The "Seven Statesmen" - a group of Amsterdam residents who are engaged in being ambassadors for courtesy and tolerance in the city - have joined in with the collaboration and were today being active on public transportation. The Seven Statesmen include photographer Erwin Olaf, DJ Isis, and Rabbi Lody van de Kamp.
Afternoon: Launching of website Amsterdam.nl/hoffelijk ("courtesy").
The Municipality of Amsterdam is capitalizing on the day to launch the website Amsterdam.nl/hoffelijk. Alderman Van Es introduced the term "courtesy" last year to make it a talking point about how Amsterdam residents interact with each other and how important it is to have respect for and solidarity with each other. The website provides a platform for Amsterdam residents to share their experiences and inspire action via Amsterdam.nl/hoffelijk. Amsterdam residents, organizations, businesses, and government are invited to contribute to this platform.
To give the launch some distinction, the courtesy ambassadors have organized a surprise during the afternoon rush hour on the Leidseplein (from 16:00 to 18:00). Alderman Van Es will be present between 16:15 and 16:30.