Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

TTC, we need to chat. A long serious one about your complete lack of common sense. I’m not sure if the decision makers at head office have never traveled by bus or streetcar or they are utterly clueless about the purpose of bus shelters. Then again, you just may be punking us.

 See, here’s the thing, this is not a bus shelter: Photo of TTC shelter showing complete lack of protection

Tell me, in what reality that would be considered shelter of any kind. The ads have better protection than customers. Or … is that the point – protect the ads at all costs.  Let’s go through the 2 major elements of bad design.

 1 – slope + height of the roof. Who are you trying to kid here? This isn’t going to prevent customers from a good soaking when it rains.  The roof is too high and too sharply slanted. Pretty design; useless functionality.

 2 – walls. Oh, yea, what walls? There’s 2 – count them. The big ad covered billboard along the back and an anemic wall on one end. Guess there’s never wind and rain coming from the other angles. Have you tried standing at one of these shelters? Please have the person who thought this was a good design contact me. I’d like to know how a wall-less shelter works.  

 I’m not a designer, but I know crap when I see it. I’ve waited at these stops during a cold, wet day. Trust me when I tell you they offer no protection. Toronto used to have some decent bus shelters in this city, but I’ve noticed they are slowly being replaced with this silliness. I realise the old shelters were a bit ugly and weren’t good spots to plaster paid ads, but they offered the chance to get out of the bitter wind, rain, snow and even intense sun. The streetcar stops are comically worse if you can imagine that.  

Hire a good industrial designer.  They will ask you one vital question - What is its purpose? I’m quite sure they’ll tell you designing a shelter that sacrifices protection so ads have maximum visibility to car drivers is not a good idea. You need to make up your mind - are the structures for car drivers and advertisers or are they for TTC customers. I’m quite sure a good designer could design a decent shelter that allows ads and comfort to the cold, wet and weary.

Oh and one last comment, what did you do with the bench? On hot days, the bench seat allowed seniors a bit of respite. Nice move ripping them out. Guess everyone in Toronto is fit and healthy. No seats for you! Stay home if you can’t stand waiting for yet another delayed bus.  See, this is another area a good industrial designer could help you. They would who your customer base is and possibly suggest keeping the bench.

 Here’s the deal. Stop calling them shelters. Admit you don’t care about customers and call them what they are – advertising posts geared towards drivers. If you don’t want to do that,  for the sake of TTC customers go hire a competent industrial design firm.

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"To make my meal in a box taste better, I decided to tweak the logo, rather than the ingredients."

- Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale


 

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