Viennese officials are cracking down on bawdy behaviour in public transit.
From now on, passengers who dare to smooch, talk loudly on cellphones or gobble pungent takeout foods risk being pulled off the city’s underground trains and slapped with the equivalent of a $70-dollar fine, the Daily Mail reports.
The penalties were imposed because of passenger complaints about discourteous behaviour in a recent survey, said Daniel Amann, spokesperson for Wiener Linien, the company that runs the city’s transport network. “Our controllers are well trained to recognize what disturbs other passengers,” he said.
Many cities have taken measures to target rude transit riders, including Toronto, which in 2009 imposed fines of more than $200 for offences such as resting feet on seats or refusing to offer a seat to a senior or disabled passenger, CTV reported.
In Vienna, however, transit riders walk on the wild side. Reports of naked passengers are on the rise (no word on whether they consist of creepy middle-aged flashers or carefree teens out for a lark). It gets worse: One couple was caught having sex on a train, while another passenger nudged a pet horse on board.
Despite its reputation for graceful waltzes and elegant cafés, modern Vienna sounds about as genteel as a road-side sausage.
On the other hand, the bizarre incidents may be a sign of outlier rebellion against the city’s straight-laced ways.
After all, this is the city that banned farewell kisses on a railway station platform a few years ago, reportedly because public make-out sessions were contributing to train delays.
The Viennese solution to the problem was to set up a dedicated “kissing zone” in the temporary car park, where couples can canoodle freely for up to 20 minutes.
There is no doubt an officer standing by with a stopwatch.