Yesterday, in sweltering hot, hot heat, thousands of Torontonians cursed out the TTC and their illegal wildcat strike. There was record heat, a smog warning, a humidity warning and, for many, a long walk or bike ride to work. It was a great way to start the week.
Not long ago, I gave this site an overhaul. I completed the migration to Movable Type and rewrote the XHTML and CSS. Looking for a main logo and new colour scheme, I wanted a symbol that said "Toronto". I toyed with the CN Tower, our crappy Toronto flag and our sports teams but I ended up with the TTC logo.
To me, it's the life blood of the city. Our subway, bus and streetcar system covers every nook and cranny and gets you from A to Z quickly, safely and reliably. I've always loved the TTC, and I shared some memories of her when the subway turned 50 in 2004. It's a great institution, but it could be so much better.
The TTC has no concept of how cool a symbol it could be. Last year I linked to the TTC Subway Rider Efficiency Guide. It was so cool, but it didn't come from the TTC. It came from http://ttcrider.ca. Remember the ultra cool buttons featuring replicas of the tile art from each station? That was probably the coolest piece of TTC marketing ever, but it didn't come from the TTC. They came from http://spacing.ca. Just this past February RobotJohnny.com put out a very funny anagram map of the TTC subway system. I was so dissapointed when TTC lawyers sent him a cease and desist order. Luckily, ttcrider.ca is still hosting the original. The TTC ought to be encouraging such actions instead of calling the lawyer.
Finally, if you want to see how out of touch TTC marketing is in this new age of viral communique, one needs to look no further than their official web site. It's one of the worst commercial sites I've ever come across and a complete embarassment. If you're interested in a challenge, try and learn from ttc.ca what a single adult fare would cost you today. Good luck! The official TTC site looks especially horrible when compared to Transit Toronto, a fan site that's vastly superior to the TTC sanctioned site.
I'm sticking with the TTC logo in the top left corner of this site until I'm inspired to change it or I get one of those nasty cease and desist letters from the TTC, whichever comes first. The TTC doesn't get it, but instead of hating them for it I pity them. So long as we continue to put out efficiency guides, tile buttons and anagram maps, we'll eventually drag the TTC kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. It's worth it. She's lovely and she's ours.