suggestions for the TTC

30 Jan

Our public transit system has many issues, but I’m still amazed to see the state of our subways, busses and streetcars. It’s getting to the point where I have mastered the art of “not touching anything” on any given TTC vehicle.

Besides the basic infrastructure and general layout of the subway system, I understand that the problem includes many variables, many external factors. I understand that it’s an ongoing problem that will probably never be fixed – but I digress.

But let’s start with the garbage! Why do we question why TTC ridership is low? People are fed up with this nonsense, and have decided to drive. The thing is, transfers, empty cartons and bottles, paper and coffee cups, can’t just magically throw themselves on the ground. People put them there.

I believe there are TTC ads that currently address this issue, but I don’t think they’re displayed rigorously enough. They need to be strategically placed, more consistent, and more direct for the simplest of minds.

Allow me to propose a more direct (albeit, a little simplified) one-off campaign for the TTC:

Goal: To motivate and encourage TTC riders to use the garbage bins allotted for recycling and litter.

Objective: To increase the use of the garbage & recycling bins, by TTC riders in the GTA, by 80 per cent over the next three months.

Key Message: If you use the garbage bins, it will keep the public transit system clean.

Target Audience: TTC riders, in the GTA; commuters from 905 area

Tactic: A series of print ads that appear inside the TTC stations, inside subway trains, street cars and busses, that illustrate the effects of garbage on the public transit system.

Idea 1: A simple black & red line graph, showing the directly proportional relationship of garbage to TTC fares

Idea 2: A cheeky but serious mathematical equation
(increased garbage = increased fares)

Idea 3: A drastic visual, showing what happens when you litter on TTC vehicles (what happens to you, and then what happens to society)

Idea 4: A visual, indicating what one person using the garbage bin can produce in the grand scheme of things (contributing to a larger movement)

I realize this won’t completely solve all of their problems, but it’s a start! I’ve suggested 4 ideas for ads, if you can offer up any other solutions, please feel free to share…

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14 Responses to “suggestions for the TTC”

  1. ramsayramsay January 30, 2008 at '12:39' #

    I could not agree with you more on the issue. I am so frustrated to see people treating the TTC like thier own house, and in many cases, worse! I guess many people don’t realize that it costs money to clean up their mess….or else they just don’t care.
    I am often faced with the decision of whether or not I should speak up when I see someone in the act. I’m sure most people would be appauled with embarassment as they probably don’t even realize they are doing it. But then there are those people who just don’t care, and they are the ones that I really want to just kick.
    What do you think Staffene, would you say something if you saw someone litter?

  2. staffeen January 30, 2008 at '17:36' #

    I do understand that people don’t want get involved – but the older I get the more inclined I become to speak out on certain things. I totally agree that people just don’t care, and so I often wonder if it’s even worth saying anything to them. Will I make an impact? One definitely needs to choose battles wisely.

  3. Rayanne Langdon January 30, 2008 at '18:26' #

    So nice to see people applying classroom knowledge to everyday situations! I am impressed, Staffeen!

  4. Brian Cave January 30, 2008 at '19:10' #

    Love your ideas!

    Heres my “Stone Age”solution, add a fine to all your ideas and increase it untill people won’t want to risk the cost. This will STOP this vulgar, disgusting behavior!!! Also put some money into the Provincal Gov.

    “THECAVEMAN”

  5. Lisa Caroline Leung January 30, 2008 at '21:14' #

    It’s probably not legally allowed to happen, BUT…

    If we left all the garbage there (did not clean/pick up after anyone, and only removed garbage bags from bins) for a substantial period of time, I should hope people would get the message.

    It would be so disgusting people would realize exactly how disgusting the behaviour is. Who knows, they might even begin to clean it up themselves.

    However, I’m pretty sure it violate oh…only the most basic of our health and safety laws.

    That being said, in terms of ads. I really love the ads that use regular content, but change the context of the situation. For example the ads depicting children talking about using drunks, having hangovers, etc., essentially showing how messed up it sounds coming from a child, and how in reality its no different than you.
    So, taking from what Megan said about how some people treat the ttc worse than their own homes, have an ad showing young professionals who have a group of friends over, or a small party. Then, show all of the guest littering, leaving paper, and cans around…even having one guest pop some bubblegum under their couch or end table, looking humourously sly. It would gain a few chuckles and get the message across. The humour would lend to show how ridiculous it is to be littering at your friend’s house, so why would you do it on the ttc? I could see a whole series like that.

  6. Lisa Caroline Leung January 30, 2008 at '21:17' #

    hahahaha, i mean, ‘violates’ and ‘children talking about using drugs’…not ‘drunks’.
    Although, children using drunks would also be a pretty serious problem 😉

  7. Mr.Marcus January 31, 2008 at '0:51' #

    well… i’m all for the removal of garbage…
    and on a rare occasion when i was using the transit system this past week (i normally commute by GO Train)… i saw a crew of TTC employees rolling through the aisles at Kennedy Station picking up grabage and news papers on the train… (that must cost a truck load of money in labour)

    To offer another thought in this conversation i’d like to offer that this increased garbage issue is really a result of the post -9/11 world… due to increased threats to train systems and following the London (UK) Train bombing they removed the garbage cans from track level at most stations… making it that more difficult to locate a garbage can… i say lets get more of the see though bag containers at all stations at track level… not just at a few locations like Queen St. Subway….

    One further point, as for the ad campaign… i like it… hit people where it counts in their wallets. They had done a whole campaign on ‘not acting like a pig’ and taking your garbage with you… but obviously that didn’t really take… pigs like their own filth… but even a pig doesn’t like when their fares increase.

  8. staffeen January 31, 2008 at '0:56' #

    Actually, the fine has been proven to work. I’m just not sure how you’d police that here. I don’t think it would go over well.

    In Singapore, if you’re caught littering ANYwhere – you can be charged. In fact, it’s illegal to own/chew gum, and if you’re caught… But seriously, their streets are a utopia. It’s so clean, it’s almost surreal. But one might examine how that works for them.

    Not sure about letting the garbage overtake us, but yes, Lisa’s ad suggestion is very powerful. It’s almost like having to re-teach common manners. Great one Lisa!

  9. Christine Smith January 31, 2008 at '21:14' #

    Staffeen: Brilliant idea to use your strategic communications planning skills in thinking about this problem/solution!

    I’m fascinated by the psychology of “waste in public places.” Intrigues me why some transit riders won’t walk five feet to deposit their garbage in a bin. Others carry around their rumpled papers in their pockets until they can properly dispose of them.

    What do people who litter think of the world? What do they think of their fellow human beings? Where do they feel their place is in the world?

    My guess is: those who consistently litter believe they are the centre of the universe. Everything and everyone around them serves at their convenience.

    Messages on posters won’t sway these individuals, I’m afraid.

  10. chipper HO February 1, 2008 at '0:14' #

    apparently TFL transport for london ….
    was rated number one in the world…
    for best transport NETWORK…
    thats a load of crock…
    ild rate the TTC higher than TFL, thats for sure…
    for many reasons other than litter concerns…

    tho…on the topic of GARBAGE:
    theres not even BINS in the TFL underground and buses…
    i carry freakin banana peels with me…till i get home…
    at least the TTC have these bins…
    and are also implementeing RRR bins in stations…
    whether we use it or not…its really up to the individual…
    i doubt theres much the TTC could do to push the msg…(ads)…
    i think its fine to take a passive stance…
    the waste we see in the TFL and the TTC come from riders…
    who think itsOK…cos its gonna be someones JOB to clean it UP…
    thats absurd a reasoning to litter when you probably wouldnt do so otherwise…anyways…im sure theres a speech here about abusing public spaces…but ill jsut ramble even more nonsensically…

    heres my suggestion:
    start a project…
    for one week…you and or a collective…
    will ride the train/bus/subway etc…
    and PICK up the garbage yourself…
    be LOUD and VOCAL of your actions/activities…
    wear shirts that say…
    THANKS FOR LITTERING…
    make it an art project even…
    compile all the trash…
    get on the TTC at 530AM…see how much passenger space it fills…
    and leave it there…with a BIG SIGN:
    YOU LIKE (to) TRASH WELL TAKE A SEAT HERE!!….

    obv im enraged…but thats good sometimes…

  11. staffeen February 1, 2008 at '4:30' #

    I do love the last suggestion, an art clean up project. Actually, Lisa also mentioned a similar concept this afternoon…Hm, use embarassment to motivate. It seems to be a common thread, also back to Megan’s point.

    Great ideas, my friends! 🙂

  12. Sean Sax February 1, 2008 at '18:14' #

    It’s the one reason I don’t like summer. I can’t wear gloves when I ride the subway 😦

  13. conniepappas February 6, 2008 at '15:21' #

    Can we also create a campaign telling people not to whip out thier feet and start cutting thier toenails – yes I have seen this and yes I have been scarred for life.

    The garbage problem is ridiculous, but it has gotten a bit better (at least on the parts that I travel on). It is still shocking, though, how many people just don’t get the fact that throwing away garbage in the proper place is not a hard thing to do.

    Yet, if you think garbage is bad, how about flying toe nails???

  14. staffeen February 6, 2008 at '15:35' #

    Connie! Oh my gosh, that’s unbelievable. Repulsive! I can’t believe people have such nerve. I’m afraid no amount of “ads” will help them…

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