Local artist spoofs confusing TTC ‘Temporary Route Change’ flyers


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Confused by those “Temporary Route Change” flyers the TTC is posting?

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You’re not alone.

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Toronto artist Shari Kasman was inspired to create faux flyers for the TTC — amusing posters that reflect the confusion many transit users currently feel.

The posters depict a looping, circuitous streetcar route, in the signature style of official TTC notices.

Construction in the downtown core is creating havoc for buses and streetcars, but the TTC perhaps hasn’t quite got the hang of clear communication when it comes to letting people know about route changes.

On Thursday morning, Kasman will post some of her flyers around College and Brock Sts., and along the 506 College streetcar route — an event heralded by Shelagh Pizey-Allen, executive director of TTCriders.

TTCriders.ca is a grassroots, membership-based group of transit users who advocate for a better TTC.

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Their mantra: Toronto needs lower fares, better service and more bus and streetcar lanes, and they’ll be watching which politicians support better transit in the municipal elections in October.

Toronto artist Shari Kasman was inspired to create faux flyers for the TTC — amusing posters that reflect the confusion many transit users currently feel.  @smkasman/INSTAGRAM
Toronto artist Shari Kasman was inspired to create faux flyers for the TTC — amusing posters that reflect the confusion many transit users currently feel. @smkasman/INSTAGRAM

In an interview Wednesday, Kasman – who is co-creator of Bloordale Beach and the artist behind a Galleria Mall photo book — explained that as an artist and writer, “a lot of my projects come out of my immediate surroundings.”

She noticed there was a lot of trouble communicating at the TTC, “and I took matters into my own hands.

“I’ve seen multiple signs on the same pole — you’re not sure which information is important or timely,” she said. “I can’t imagine what it’s like for non-English speakers or people from out of town.”

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Construction and track work are inevitable, Kasman conceded, “but you don’t want to inconvenience people more by making things this hard to understand. It’s just going to make people angrier when it’s this confusing.

“The TTC has really missed the mark on their communication. You assume they want to increase ridership,” she said.

“They’re not going to win people over if people are baffled by these signs.”

Like others in the city, Kasman has personally guided people waiting in the wrong place for a bus that will never arrive.

“I’ve had to tell them — nothing is coming here. It’s sad that it’s so difficult for the TTC to convey that message,” she said.

On their side, the TTC seems to be taking Kasman’s flyers in the right spirit.

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Communications head Stuart Green said they’ve seen the “cheeky” posters.

“We absolutely understand the frustration our customers feel with temporary diversions and alternate service,” he said in an email statement.

“We work with our partners at the City of Toronto to co-ordinate our service changes with road closures and use many methods to communicate those changes.

“There is a lot of construction and infrastructure work being done in Toronto that ultimately will improve roads and expand public transit,” Green added.

“But there will also be some short-term pain for our customers that comes with that long-term gain. Our job is to manage service and communicate it in real time.

“We are committed to doing our level best at all times in this regard.”

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