What is Transit Wayfinding?
Transit wayfinding is the range of maps, signs, graphics and other information that helps transit users navigate through the public transit network. It can help transit users orient themselves and lead them where they need to go by providing answers to basic questions like “Am I at the right bus stop?”, “Where do I pay for my fare?” or “Where do I get the train?”. Effective transit wayfinding can help transit users understand how different services connect to one another, making them feel more comfortable, particularly when trying out new services and routes.
Transit Wayfinding Harmonization
As the transit network in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) continues to grow and expand, transit wayfinding will play an even more crucial role in helping people get around.
One of the priority actions in Metrolinx’s regional transportation plan, The Big Move, includes developing “a consistent set of procedures, visual and audio cues, and wayfinding measures, that make the transit system easier to use and navigate including consistent numbering and naming of transit stations and stops, consistent schedule, and common transit signage standards” (Priority Action 5.9).
In response to this need, the region’s ten transit agencies began working together in 2014 on wayfinding harmonization through the “Seamless Network” initiative. The goal of the initiative is to improve the consistency of transit wayfinding across the region to make it easier for people to get around, enhancing the overall customer experience.
The initiative is an alliance between Metrolinx and all GTHA transit agencies: Brampton Transit, Burlington Transit, Durham Region Transit, GO Transit, Hamilton Street Railway, Milton Transit, MiWay, Oakville Transit, Toronto Transit Commission and York Region Transit.
Through the Seamless Network initiative, the transit agencies are working together to develop a common set of wayfinding guidelines which will work to ensure that information is presented in a clear, consistent and intuitive manner. The guidelines will create a common approach for presenting transit information in the GTHA, including consistent signage at stations, naming conventions and mapping.
The guidelines were completed in 2015, and will be tested at some pilot locations in 2016 and 2017. Based on the outcomes of the pilot phase, the guidelines will be updated and an implementation plan for the region will be developed.