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GO Transit: Construction Projects (Metrolinx, various)

People know that bus stops are a place you can access transit. They know that train stations are a place you can access transit. If a bus stop is already clearly identifiable as a bus stop, there is no point in also identifying it as "transit".

Between the GO and the YRT stop markers, I think the YRT one does a better job at identifying "transit", because the largest logo is the universally recognizable bus icon, rather than a (T) icon that is only recognizable in places where it is the logo of a sepecific transit operator (such as the MBTA). Sure, if we added a T icon on every bus stop, streetcar stop and train station in the province, people would start to associate it with transit, but what would that accomplish? They already recognize the bus icon, the streetcar icon and the train icons.

The YRT marker is also much easier to spot thanks to its use of vibrant blue rather than black. The reason that many agencies have coloured strips on the top and bottom is that they helped make the stop markers stand out. Making those strips black eliminates that function, which may explain why Milton Transit chose to use their bright blue instead of following Metrolinx's austere standard.

blog_bus_stops_yonge.jpg

Image by As I Walk Toronto

Here is how I would adjust Metrolinx's proposed stop marker standard to make it clearly identifiable as a bus stop, and make the design brighter from a distance:
MetrolinxMarkers-2.png
 
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People know that bus stops are a place you can access transit. They know that train stations are a place you can access transit. If a bus stop is already clearly identifiable as a bus stop, there is no point in also identifying it as "transit".

Between the GO and the YRT stop markers, I think the YRT one does a better job at identifying "transit", because the largest logo is the universally recognizable bus icon, rather than a (T) icon that is only recognizable in places where it is the logo of a sepecific transit operator (such as the MBTA). Sure, if we added a T icon on every bus stop, streetcar stop and train station in the province, people would start to associate it with transit, but what would that accomplish? They already recognize the bus icon, the streetcar icon and the train icons.

The YRT marker is also much easier to spot thanks to its use of vibrant blue rather than black. The reason that many agencies have coloured strips on the top and bottom is that they helped make the stop markers stand out. Making those strips black eliminates that function, which may explain why Milton Transit chose to use their bright blue instead of following Metrolinx's austere standard.

blog_bus_stops_yonge.jpg

Image by As I Walk Toronto

Here is how I would adjust Metrolinx's proposed stop marker standard to make it clearly identifiable as a bus stop, and make the design brighter from a distance:
View attachment 535770
I actually think if you’re going down the dumb route of slapping a T at subway stations and Go stations then you should at bus stops too. No one is actually explaining what the T stands for. It’s anyone’s guess. So it should be at as many transit locations as possible to be ingrained into someone’s brain well I’ve seen that at a bus stop… perhaps this is another transit stop. Personally I think the T is dumb and would have rather an outline of a train or something. But that’s me.
 
Marketing 101 says recognition of a visual brand logo is a priceless asset.

I would bet that if someone did research about the brand recognition of the TTC logo, the data would show that the TTC logo has one of the highest brand recognition scores of any institution or business in the GTA.

I would bet that 95% of Torontonians recognize that logo, and probably 60% of 905 residents.also. I bet the GO logo would score well - the Metrolinx logo much less.

The same may not be true of the Miway or Brampton Transit or York logos, especially outside their own running areas.

Why some high priced visual designer and almost as high priced transit professional would think that the "T" logo is in any way preferable to the TTC logo, I will never understand.

- Paul

PS - I have navigated many other cities' transit systems without having much brand recognition of their logos, so the argument that the logo must be universal so that it assists visitors, I don't buy.

Stick with the TTC and GO logos, say I.
 
I actually think if you’re going down the dumb route of slapping a T at subway stations and Go stations then you should at bus stops too.
In my mind, putting the T on all forms of transit actually pollutes the meaning of the symbol. I want to know what type of transit I can expect to see at the stop. (Will it be a subway or a bus? How fast is it?) Transit mode factors into my decision on what types of trips I can make from that stop. A logo that just means "transit" is just useless to me.

Ironically, the international transit logos they cited as inspiration don't follow the "all transit has the same symbol" rule:

1706406972640.png

Note how S-bahns and U-bahns have different logos, (and how that's good, actually).

I can't imagine how anyone thought it would be a great idea to give regional trains and local buses the same logo.
 
Once again are you seeing it from a general public hat or a UT foamer hat? ML is marketing the T as the sign for transit. People who are not transit nerds will be conditioned to recognize it for what it is. It's only here where we try to armchair it away. Let's stop wasting our energy on a freakn letter and focus on more important things such as why oncorr is taking so long to get going.
Of course talking about general public. You think an average person is so dumb that they can't tell it's a bus stop or a subway station until you slap a T logo on it?
 
As I’ve said before, as much as I don’t like the T, the real issue is that this ‘standard’ was created without any implementation funding.
There is some funding... they will have about half of all stations on the TTC system branded T by the opening of the Yonge Subway Extension, plus all their newer / renovated GO stations, all their GO stops. If the city ends up uploading the subway to the province with its budget challenges I would expect it would go further.
 
Reece Martin shares his thoughts on the flaws/missing opportunities in the GO Expansion plan:

 
There is literally no chance the province will accept uploading the subway.
The province was ready to do it in 2019. The city at the time didn't seem to understand that they had dug themselves into a financial hole and pushed back on it, so the province owns all new lines and infrastructure, but the city still owns the old ones.
 
There is literally no chance the province will accept uploading the subway.
Metrolinx has been pushing for this to happen for years. The only reason it hasn't is because the City was adamantly against it. In fact, I believe some time ago, John Tory started backing the Ontario Line on the sole condition that the province wouldn't pursue uploading the existing subway.
 
Metrolinx has been pushing for this to happen for years. The only reason it hasn't is because the City was adamantly against it. In fact, I believe some time ago, John Tory started backing the Ontario Line on the sole condition that the province wouldn't pursue uploading the existing subway.

Its a bit more complicated than that.

Its not a straight-line funding question. Its an operating question. Everything from the logistics involved, to who owns the real estate/assets (and how that shows up on the books); to who determines service levels and fares.

Separating out the bus, streetcar and subway systems, giving them different managers/owners is no small matter. It can certainly be done. Though the crosstown project shows some of the complications that arise from trying to do this; and why it should not be considered a panacea.
 
The subway and bus/streetcar systems are so intertwined in terms of infrastructure and fares, that separating them seems like a bad idea and turf wars and "passing the buck" seems inevitable.

Plus, it's a multi year proposition to rearrange the organization, implement common processes and policies, re-appoint managers, integrate information systems.
We absolutely do not need transit agencies in the GTA taking that long pause to integrate. Whatever dysfunctions or inefficiencies exist in having duplication or communication silos, that organizational pause is not a better way right now.

- Paul
 

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