Canadian transit agency teases amazing new transportation technology: the bus
Last week, one of Toronto’s regional transit services teased a radical and futuristic mode of transportation on Twitter. In a dramatic video full of lightning bolts and movie trailer music, GO Transit asked viewers to imagine this scenario: you get into a vehicle, slip into a comfortable seat, and text or browse. chat memes until you reach your destination. Best of all, you never even have to type in where you’re going. The vehicle brings you right there.
And then pow! Another love at first sight! Surprise! It’s a bus!
The cheeky video makes a decent point. Public transit already offers some of the benefits that we’re trying to get from technologies that aren’t quite there yet, like self-driving cars. Yes, there are issues with even the best public transportation systems, like poor infrastructure, lack of funds, Politics infighting, or even raccoons. But when it works, it works really well! This is why it is unfortunate that the traffic in the big cities across the United States struggled.
I don’t know if irreverent bus advertising will solve a transportation crisis. But hey, the one in Toronto solid figures for public transit ridership seem to imply that our neighbor to the north is on to something! It is also not the first transit agency to try this strategy. from Sweden Västtrafik released a (very similar) video in 2017, and guess what? Their public transportation system too looks a lot better than what we have in the US.
Maybe we thought about it all wrong. We are a country that loves visual entertainment, and we are read less and less anyway. Would it be so bad if our transit agencies got a little sassy and made some popping video ads, provided it increases ridership? At the very least, I would love to see them try.