Is this a better look for the new TTC uniforms?
The TTC's planned overhaul of its maroon uniforms hasn't got off to the best start. This week, leaked pictures of red and blue striped polo shirts drew the ire of union boss Bob Kinnear, who said the casualwear looked like a Montreal Canadiens uniform, never mind the TTC's historic use of the colour red.
The awkward fallout forced TTC CEO Andy Byford to assure nervous drivers, fare collectors, and other customer-facing staff that the shirts were "nothing more than a proposal," promising more consultation before the final decision revealed to the public in 2014. The current kit - a hodgepodge of drab colours and styles - arrived in the 1990s.
One place Byford and his team could seek inspiration is Toban Allison's blog, "Better Way Forward." Allison has had beef with the TTC's design sense for some time and recently produced alternative proposals for clutter-free information screens, subway station signage, and map icons.
When the images of the maligned polo shirts were published by the National Post, Allison quickly put together a look he felt would work better - a simple grey suit, red tie, and cap. Something "high on pride and professionalism" that draws on classic looks from the past.
"I wanted to take a stab at revising a lot of what's currently in use to focus on how it would better benefit the end-user, not just make something look different for the sake of making it look different," he says. "Making things easier and more functional for the customer is how I've approached everything I've done so far."
"I think the current jackets look, for lack of a better term, frumpy. While I don't care for the colour, I don't think I've ever seen a TTC staff member wearing one that fit properly; for whatever reason they all seem to fit like tents."
What do you think of this look? Should the TTC look for a classic, smart look for its staff? Will a new uniform help improve the quality of customer service?
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
Images: Toban Allison/Better Way Forward