4- Public Communications Activities

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Introduction

 

rct_conduct_section_icon-04Purpose and Scope

1 – Non-Public Forum

As a provider of public transportation services, CTA makes a variety of Transit Vehicles and certain CTA Facilities and Properties available to persons who use such public transportation services.  Although these Transit Vehicles and CTA Facilities and Properties may be accessed by the general public, they are not open public forums either by nature or by designation.  They are intended to be used solely for transit-related activities and provide little, if any, space for other nontransit-related activities.

2 – CTA’s Legitimate Interests

Most public communication activities are prohibited on Transit Vehicles and within or upon CTA Facilities and Properties, regardless of the viewpoint expressed, because they are incompatible with CTA’s legitimate interests including, but not limited to:

(a) securing the use of scarce parking spaces and bus shelter space for persons who are using public transportation services;

(b) maintaining safe, clean, and secure Transit Vehicles and CTA Facilities and Properties to retain existing, and attract new, users of public transportation services;

(c) reducing litter pick-up and other maintenance or administrative expenses so as to maximize the provision of public transportation services; and

(d) preventing delays and inconvenience to the general public by minimizing congestion and expediting boarding, transferring, and alighting of Transit Vehicles.

3 – Purpose of Article 4

CTA’s intent and desire is to allow members of the general public to engage in public communication activities on Transit Vehicles and within or upon CTA Facilities and Properties to the extent that such activities are compatible with CTA’s legitimate proprietary functions and interests, but expressly does not hereby designate its Transit Vehicles or CTA Facilities and Properties as public forums. It is the purpose of Article IV to describe the limited extent to which the general public is allowed to engage in public communication activities on Transit Vehicles and within or upon CTA Facilities and Properties. Article IV does not apply to CTA employees engaged in authorized activities in the course of their employment or to events or commercial activities previously authorized by CTA. Article IV does not apply to commercial advertising on or upon CTA Facilities or Properties.

4 – Facilities Governed by Article 4

All Transit Agency vehicles, facilities and properties are governed by Article 4 herein.

rct_conduct_section_icon-05Regulation of Public Communication Activities

Persons engaging in public communication activities involving signs, boxes, receptacles, easels or other similar apparatus of any kind, must first obtain a CTA Permit in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth in Article IV herein. Otherwise, no permit will be required for public communications activities as otherwise provided herein. CTA personnel may require that any public communication activity not be conducted within ten feet of persons in transit vehicle queue lines, bus entrances or exits, or permanent waiting fixtures, unless invited closer by a transit patron.

1 – Limitations

Public communication activities, which are otherwise lawful, are permitted on CTA Transit Vehicles and within or upon CTA Facilities and Properties, subject to the following exceptions and limitations:

(a) Posting or affixing flyers, pamphlets, brochures, leaflets, or any other written, printed or graphic materials of any kind is prohibited.

(b) Selling or offering for sale or donation books, pamphlets, or any other written, printed, or graphic material is prohibited.

(c) Soliciting funds is prohibited.

(d) Signs, banners, structures, or other paraphernalia may not be affixed to or erected on CTA Transit Vehicles or within or upon CTA Facilities and Properties, except as authorized by CTA or law.

(e) Signs carried by or on a person are permitted, provided that the signs are not constructed of a size or material that could inadvertently or intentionally cause injury to a person or property, and provided that the signs are not permitted on CTA Transit Vehicles.  Signs may not be of a size that obstructs the free flow of the general public and may not exceed 32 inches by 32 inches.  A “sandwich board” sign may not extend beyond the carrier’s shoulders or, if used by a Permittee, beyond the permitted area.

(f) Public communication activities will not be permitted in parking areas or roadways.  Public communication activities may not block any loading zone, signage, stairway, escalator, elevator, customer service counter, ticket or automatic teller machine, authorized commercial activity, fire safety system component, telephone, information board, or the normal general public paths to and from such areas.

(g) Public communication activities otherwise permitted under Article IV are prohibited if the number of person engaged in the activities, their location, or the manner of conducting the activities creates safety or security problems; interferes with the free flow of persons onto CTA Transit Vehicles or into, within, or from CTA Facilities and Properties; or interferes with the operation of such Transit Vehicles, Facilities and Properties, or CTA’s provision of public transportation services.

(h) Persons engaged in public communication activities within or upon CTA Facilities and Properties shall not use any parking spaces provided at such Facilities and Properties unless they are also using CTA’s public transportation services.

rct_conduct_section_icon-06Permitting Procedures

1 | Permit

No person shall engage in public communication activities permitted under Article IV without first obtaining a Permit in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth herein.

2 | Application for Permit

Any person that desires to obtain a Permit shall submit an application (“Application”) to the designated CTA representative or his or her designee.  A copy of the form of this Application is attached hereto as Appendix 1.  Applications may be obtained in–person, Monday – Friday (except holidays), 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., from CTA’s Business Office, 254 Oregon Way, Longview, WA 98632.

3 | Issuance of Permit

(a) Within a period of no longer than five (5) calendar days of receipt of a completed Application, a Permit shall be issued by the designated CTA representative or his or her designee, or the applicant shall be furnished a written statement setting forth the reason why the Application for a Permit had been denied.  A Permit will not ordinarily be issued more than fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the commencement of intended use and will be valid only for the specific dates, times, and designated areas identified in the Permit.  A Permit shall be effective for a period of no longer than seven (7) calendar days and will be limited to the normal hours and days that the designated area(s) identified in the Permit is open for public access.  Applications shall be processed in the order of their receipt.

(b) A Permit may be renewed prior to its expiration for up to seven (7) additional calendar days by filing with the designated CTA representative or his or her designee a notice that the Permittee intends to continue the activity, together with any amendments necessary to keep the information required by the Application current and accurate.  A Permit shall not be renewed if the notice and information herein required are not timely filed or if the continued presence of the Permittee cannot be accommodated under these rules and procedures.

(c) Permittees are required to have the Permit on their person (or with the group) when engaged in the permitted activity and to present the Permit to Transit Agency and security personnel upon request.  A copy of the form of the Permit is attached hereto as Appendix 2.

4 – Denial of Permit

If a Permit is denied, the designated CTA representative or his or her designee shall serve on the applicant personally or by US Postal Service Priority Mail, delivery confirmation requested, a written statement of reasons for the denial.  A Permit shall not be denied unless:

(a) The applicant has not furnished the information required by the Application, or the applicant has failed to agree to the conditions of the Permit.

(b) Conditions exist which make the applicant’s proposed activity at the date, time, or location proposed by the applicant incompatible with CTA’s operational function or is otherwise limited or prohibited under Article 4.

(c) The nature of the activity that the applicant wishes to conduct constitutes a commercial activity subject to other requirements of CTA described in Article III herein.

(d) The applicant is subject to: (i) an exclusion order issued to the applicant or participant pursuant to Article III herein; (ii) a revocation of a previous Permit issued to the applicant; or (iii) a failure to comply with the terms and conditions of a Permit previously issued to the applicant; or

(e) One or more applicants have requested Permits for the same date, time, or location; CTA cannot reasonably accommodate additional public communication activities at that same date, time, or location; and the current applicant is not entitled to priority in accordance with these rules and procedures.

5 – Revocation of Permit

A Permit may be revoked immediately by the designated CTA representative or his or her designee, when evidence exists that:

(a) A Permittee has violated the provisions of the Permit or these Rules of Conduct, or The activity has attracted a crowd of sufficient size so as to begin to adversely impact the safety, security, or rights of others; the free flow of the general public; or the normal operation requirements of the Transit Vehicles or Facility and Properties. Before revoking a Permit, the designated CTA representative or his or her designee may, but is not required to, give Permittees verbal warnings of any violations of the Permit or these Rules of Conduct or return a Permit after adverse conditions that existed at the time of revocation are no longer present.

6 – Notice of Revocation

(a) Notice of revocation shall be in writing, supported by a statement of facts and a list of witnesses to the facts stated, and be personally served upon the Permittee or mailed to the Permittee by US Postal Service Priority Mail, delivery confirmation requested.  A notice of revocation need not be in writing if immediate conditions exist that pose safety or security risks; interfere with or impinge on the rights of others; impede the free flow of the general public; affect the orderly and efficient use of the transit facility; or otherwise interfere with CTA’s public transportation services, operations or maintenance activities.  If written notice of revocation is not given because of such immediate conditions, the designated CTA representative or his or her designee shall, within three (3) calendar days from the date of revocation, prepare a written notice of revocation as required above.

(b) Once a Permit has been revoked, a person shall not continue their activity until another Permit has been obtained or the revoked Permit returned.  If the Permit has been revoked on a permanent basis, all materials involved in the terminated activity must be removed immediately by the individual(s) involved.

7 – Appeal from Denial or Revocation.

(a) Upon notification of the denial of a Permit or revocation thereof, an applicant or Permittee may file with CTA a notice of appeal.

(b) Upon CTA’s receipt of the notice of appeal, the matter shall be set for a hearing before the designated CTA representative within fifteen (15) calendar days.  The designated CTA representative or his or her designee shall issue a notice of hearing which shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the applicant or Permittee, and which shall contain the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(c) At the hearing, the applicant or Permittee may be represented by legal counsel.  Testimony shall be taken upon oath or affirmation first of witnesses in support of the denial or revocation.  The applicant or Permittee may then testify and present witnesses on his or her behalf.  A record shall be made of the proceeding and kept on file with CTA.

(d) The designated CTA representative’s findings and order shall, within seven (7) calendar days of the conclusion of the hearing, be sent to the applicant or Permittee by US Postal Service Priority Mail, delivery confirmation requested.

8 – Availability of and Limit Upon Permits

(a) Permits will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability, provided that CTA may give preference to an applicant or applicants who have had the least opportunity during the preceding thirty (30) calendar days to conduct public communication activities.  Permits shall be issued without regard to the identity of the person or cause for which the Permit is being requested.

(b) For safety and security reasons, to ensure that the free flow of the general public and the intended transportation functions of CTA Transit Vehicles and CTA Facilities and Properties are met, and to accommodate other activities competing for the limited available space, a maximum of four (4) individuals representing the same groups or causes will be allowed to engage in public communication activities at any given time.

9 – Transferability

Upon written approval by the designated CTA representative, a Permit may be transferred to another person engaged in the same activity, provided that the receiving party complies with the conditions of the Permit and retains it on her or her person during the activity.

10 – Reproduction

Permits may not be reproduced or altered in any manner.  Reproduced or altered Permits will be considered invalid and confiscated.  The holder of the invalid Permit will be required to cease their activity until a valid Permit is obtained.

11 – Signs, Banners, Literature, Etc. 

Signs, banner, literature, leaflets, posters, structures, or other paraphernalia may not be affixed to the Transit Vehicles, CTA Facilities and Properties or erected in conjunction with an activity, unless space has otherwise been provided for such purpose or under provision stated elsewhere in these rules and procedures.  Permittees may offer literature to the general public, but they shall refrain from attempting to distribute literature to any member of the general public who indicates he or she does not desire to receive said literature.  Permittees may not distribute or offer to distribute said literature within ten (10) feet of persons in queue lines, bus exits or entrances, or permanent waiting fixtures, unless invited closer by a transit patron.

12 – Responsibility for Clean-up

Permittees shall be responsible for cleaning up litter that they personally (or as a group) generate in the course of their activity.  If, at the end of the Permittee’s activity, the Permittee fails to clean up such litter, CTA shall cause the clean-up of the Permittee’s litter and the Permittee shall reimburse CTA for all costs incurred therefore.

13 – Unattended Distribution and Storage of Materials

No Permittee shall leave unattended distribution or storage of materials, placards, boxes, or other supplies used in support of public communication activities.

14 – Hold Harmless.

Any Permittee, including Permittee’s personal representatives, successors in interest, and assigns, shall, as a precondition to the issuance of any Permit, agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless CTA and its officers, agents, and employees from all suits, claims, actions, and damages of whatsoever kind or nature arising out of or resulting from Permittee’s use of the premises, except to the extent caused by the negligence of CTA and its officers, agents, and employees.  Any Permittee shall further covenant and agree to specifically assume potential liability for actions brought by Permittee’s own employees against CTA and its officers, agents, and employees and, for that purpose only, Permittee specifically waives any immunity under workers’ compensation act, Title 51 RCW, provided, however, that said waiver shall not apply to such actions in which Permittee’s employee alleges that the claim arises through no fault of Permittee, unless the fault of Permittee is established through discovery or at trial.

15 – Interaction with the General Public

CTA and its officers, agents, and employees, shall not unnecessarily interfere with any consensual conversation between Permittees and members of the general public.  Permittees shall forthwith terminate any conversation with any member of the general public when requested to do so by the addressee.  No person, while engaged in public communication activities, shall physically touch or contact a member of the general public, unless the person has previously consented to the contact or unless the person has previously agreed to contribute to the Permittee or the organization that he or she represents.

16 – Misrepresentation

No person, while engaging in solicitation of funds, shall misrepresent the true purposes for which the resources obtained will be utilized by the person.  In the solicitation of funds, the person shall inform the person being solicited of the true intent of the organization for which said funds are solicited.  No false, fraudulent, or misleading statements or representations shall be made.

17 – Permits and Licenses

The Permittee shall be responsible for obtaining all necessary permits and licenses from any other regulatory agencies required for the Permittee’s use of transit vehicles, facilities or properties.  Permittee shall provide copies of said permits to Transit Agency upon its request.

18 – Compliance with the Rules of Conduct and Laws

Permittees shall abide by the Rules of Conduct and all applicable federal, state, and municipal criminal and civil laws.

rct_conduct_section_icon-07General

1 – Liability for Clean-up

Any person engaged in public communication activities and found responsible for litter, damages, or destruction of property, whether by accident or intent, shall be responsible for the clean-up and/or liable for the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged or destroyed property.

2 – Liability of CTA

Nothing in Article IV or in the permission of public communications activities on Transit Vehicles or within or upon CTA Facilities and Properties shall create a duty to any person on the part of CTA or form any basis for liability on the part of CTA or its agents or employees.  The obligation to comply with the requirements of Article IV is solely that of any persons engaging in public communication activities and CTA’s enforcement of Article IV is discretionary, not mandatory.

3 – Non-Transit Agency Uses

Notwithstanding the limitations and prohibitions contained in Article IV, CTA reserves the right to enter into leases or other use agreements permitting non-CTA uses of Transit Vehicles or CTA Facilities and Properties that are found to be compatible with CTA’s proprietary functions and interests.