The Diversity Tram

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The Diversity Tram
The Diversity Tram

The Diversity Tram is riding the rails in Warsaw. This is how the Warsaw Trams (TW) enterprise is promoting openness to diversity and the idea of equality, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or ethnic origin.

“The Diversity Tram,” a campaign by Warsaw Trams, is an initiative undertaken as a result of the issues related to violence and lack of tolerance, reported by tram drivers during their every-day work. In 2017, there were nearly 950 incidents involving violence and aggression in Warsaw’s trams. In Poland, according to a report by the State Prosecutor’s Office, only during the first half of 2017 there were 947 cases concerning hate crimes motivated by race, anti-Semitism or xenophobia.

“The Diversity Tram” is a special car covered with images showing that Warsaw trams are a place where all passengers – no matter their gender, race, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, age or disability – can feel safe and welcome. It has also housed a series of debates with the campaign ambassadors, including Mahmoud Khalifa, Palestinian Ambassador to Poland, Tomasz Raczek, a film critic and social activist, and Henryka Krzywonos, an oppositionist in the times of the Polish People’s Republic and now a Member of the Polish Sejm.

In our campaign, which is to clearly say ‘NO’ to any aggression towards any otherness or distinctness, we focus on people. We wish to emphasise that Warsaw’s transport services are for everybody, and everyone should be able to feel safe and welcome while travelling around Warsaw. We will be talking about this and addressing these problems to find systemic solutions,” said Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of Warsaw. “I have promised to all Varsovians a capital city where everyone is welcome and provided with equal opportunities, and where the underprivileged are supported. I’m going to keep my word. As I have already announced, measures to counteract discrimination are my top priority.

In addition to this educational campaign, Warsaw Trams is also implementing systemic solutions. Since October 2018, Warsaw’s tram drivers have been undergoing a series of training courses to teach them how to interact with passengers who need help, and how to cope with situations involving aggressive passengers on the tram, who might be dangerous for others.
Since 2006, Warsaw Trams has been committed to equipping all new cars with professional surveillance systems. These systems support rapid response in situations when passengers might be at risk.

Warsaw’s tram drivers have also prepared instructions for passengers explaining how they can silently call for help. Soon, tram cars will be displaying short video clips, prepared in partnership with the Otwarta Rzeczpospolita association, which demonstrate how you should behave when you witness aggression in a tram, while taking into account some precautions for your own safety.