These fake TTC route change notices capture the chaos of replacement buses (PHOTOS)

Sep 21 2022, 9:01 pm

Shari Kasman was hoping to catch a streetcar on College Street last week but instead found herself facing a series of “totally indecipherable” route change notices.

Seemingly stranded, and frustrated with the TTC’s poor communication and constant service disruptions, the artist decided to make her own comedic version of the bulletins.

With “temporary route change” emblazoned across the top, the posters appear, at first glance, nearly identical to the authentic notices — except they depict a looping, tangled route.

The reasons given for the replacement buses include “malfunctioning city,” “just changing things up a bit,” and “none of your business.”

Shari Kasman

Shari Kasman

Kasman has plastered her creations up and down College Street alongside the real route change notices for the 506 Carlton Streetcar. She traversed the route on her bike because public transportation “would have taken forever.”

Service for the 506 has been disrupted since early September as the TTC makes infrastructure improvements, including replacing tracks, across the route. The work will continue “until further notice.”

Shari Kasman

Shari Kasman

“506 Carlton streetcars will probably eventually show up if your stop is in service, but you might be waiting a while for one to arrive, and even if one does get here, it might take a very long time to get to your destination,” Kasman’s creations all too accurately read.

“506 Carlton replacement buses will be slow and crowded. Actually, for some reason, the bus is called the 506C bus… Customers should transfer between streetcars and replacement buses whenever the driver tells you to do so.”

Shari Kasman

Shari Kasman

Kasman was far from the only customer confused by the TTC’s signage. When she was installing her own posters, she came across several people waiting at stops that were not in use due to the diversion.

“I wanted to bring attention to the absurdity of the TTC’s approach to communicating route diversions,” Kasman said of her posters.

“The TTC’s multiple route diversion signs seemed like they were intentionally creating confusion, so I thought I’d help them out and clarify the situation for TTC riders.”

Transit advocacy group TTCriders said the posters, albeit amusing, point to a serious problem plaguing the city’s transit system.

“If the TTC can’t get the basics right, how will it attract riders back to the system?” said TTCriders activist Khasir Hean.

“In addition to clear and translated information during service disruptions, Toronto needs lower fares, better service, and more bus and streetcar lanes.”

The group also pointed out that although more than 130,000 Toronto residents don’t speak or read English, the TTC doesn’t translate its service disruptions — or any other notices — into other languages.

With Toronto’s municipal election just over a month away, TTCriders has begun to survey City Council candidates about their commitments to improving transit, including whether they will make announcements and signs more accessible. The results will be posted on the group’s website ahead of the October 24 election.

“We’re calling on Toronto residents to pledge to vote for transit,” Hean said. “Elect transit champions on October 24th.”

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