Promoting civility

SNCF takes a stand against incivility.


Littering, spitting, smoking on trains, using abusive language and other daily incivilities are deeply felt by everyone. SNCF has conducted Group-wide surveys to analyse these unacceptable behaviours, and we’ve used the experiences recounted by our clients and employees to identify several key drivers for change:

  • identify situations that cause incivility by listening to our passengers and employees
  • initiate targeted local efforts to address the realities confronting each line as effectively as possible
  • train our employees to handle difficult situations
  • launch innovative information and education campaigns to provide better explanations of codes of conduct
  • strengthen our dialogue with outside partners, including SNCF subsidiaries, government authorities and other corporations, with a view to sharing best practices.


In recent months, we’ve committed to a major effort and have already begun work on it. Critical components include improving client relations and giving our employees a better place to work—essential steps in creating positive travelling and working conditions on our trains and in our stations.


And we’re in this for the long haul. On 24 September 2012, we created a dedicated unit for preventing and managing incivility with Céline Debove-Postel at the helm. Backed by a network of local stakeholders, she will run a nationwide programme of targeted initiatives building on efforts already under way in selected regions. Key focus areas will include expanding our mediation programme and making both government and judicial authorities more aware of the problem of verbal abuse.



Our corporate commitment to ending incivility in the rail system also includes reaching out to our passengers. In the spring of 2012, our stations in Marseille and Lyon held events on the theme “No incivility is small.” Giant sculptures of a cigarette and a wad of chewing gum were installed along with displays, drawing reactions from both passengers and employees. The outsized sculptures express repetition, transcending individual acts of incivility and evoking the thousands of cigarette butts and pieces of gum dropped every day. From 22 November to 5 December 2012, the campaign enters a new phase with a flagship event at Gare de Lyon in Paris.


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