It was with interesting timing that I got this press release today. The content of the release is about the unveiling of the new logo for Guelph Transit and the introduction of a new hybrid vehicle to the fleet. Both good things, assuredly, but while Transit focuses on the aesthetics, it keeps missing the key factor in running a transit operation: picking up people up on time and delivering them to where they need to go.
To wit, I was waiting for the perimeter bus at the southwest corner of Woodlawn and Imperial last night when the bus just drove past the stop, continuing on Woodlawn and not turning onto Imperial. When I phoned Transit, they got in touch with the bus driver, and after five minutes of waiting on hold, I was told that the bus had to turn into the right lane to allow emergency vehicles to pass and couldn't get back into the left lane in time to make the turn.
But here's the thing, I didn't hear any sirens, and I didn't see any flashing lights. Basically there was nothing observable, to me anyway, that said there were emergency vehicles anywhere in the vicinity at that exact moment. So were they lying? I don't know. All I know is what I was told and what I observed, which was the bus driving past, not even slowing down, and having to wait a half an hour for the next bus. It could be an honest mistake, and human failings happen all the time, but something about this situation was hinky to me. And then they roll out this the next morning. Alas.
Here's the release:
GUELPH, ON, August 17, 2011 – Mayor Farbridge and Executive Director of Operations and Transit Services, Derek McCaughan unveiled Guelph Transit’s new logo on a hybrid vehicle at St. George’s Square today.
“This is an exciting time for Guelph Transit, with new and improved routes, better service levels, and a new transit terminal all on the horizon. The new logo reflects this new chapter for our local transit system, a chapter that will see Guelph Transit attract more riders while using resources more efficiently.” said Mayor Karen Farbridge.
Guelph Transit’s new identity reflects the values of a dynamic transit system. The tagline “On Your Way” is designed to convey the concept of moving forward. This is further reinforced with a stylized road with two continuous curves. The choice of the two curved lines represents a road that is travelled and captures the importance of the partnership between transit and the community working together.
“You will start to see the new logo on our entire transit fleet in the coming weeks,” promised Derek McCaughan.
“The logo was designed to align with our vision of transit being the most viable option to get you on your way around Guelph,” said Michael Anders, General Manager, Community Connectivity and Transit. “We asked residents, riders and our transit operators to select the new logo from three alternatives and this iteration struck a chord with the majority of respondents.” More than 500 surveys for the new logo were completed at the Public Works Week open house, Stone Road Mall, Guelph Farmer’s Market and St. George’s Square.
The hybrid vehicle on which the new logo appears does not consume any fuel when stopped at a traffic light, as it switches to electric mode. It meets the strict Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV II) and Advanced Technology - Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) standards. The City’s other hybrid vehicle is used by by-law officers and a third ‘green’ vehicle – powered by methane gas from the City’s Wastewater treatment plant - is used by Wastewater.
The City was the first municipality in Ontario to be recognized for sustainable transit fleet management and was one of only two cities in Ontario to receive an E3 Fleet Silver rating for sustainable fleet management.