koalagrip toronto

This TTC safety tool made in Toronto is blowing up on TikTok

A safety tool that makes it easier to have a contactless ride on the TTC is blowing up on TikTok right now, and it's 3D -printed locally right here in Toronto.

The KoalaGrip is a deceptively simple tool, a device you can hold in your hand that grips onto TTC poles with somewhat koala-like "claws" so you don't have to touch the dirty, germy surface.

Their TikTok page only has a few very simple videos that are pretty much all alike, but their most popular has over 10.5 million views and counting. The video shows a closeup of how the tool works with the basic text overtop reading "Stay connected."

"KoalaGrip is a family idea that came to life since we're stuck in cities and rely on public transport. One of our founders is an essential worker so we started working on a solution early on. We use a local 3D printer in the GTA and are moving towards recycled plastics to further minimize our footprint," the founders of KoalaGrip told blogTO.

"We are trying to smooth out our production process to bring the price to a point that is accessible to everyone. Since our Tiktok went viral our orders have taken off! We appreciate all the support we have received so far and hope to make an impact in the return to normalcy."

The tool costs $27.99 and can be purchased online. The KoalaGrip website promises that the tool is designed to fit all sizes of TTC poles and hands, and is meant to be sturdy and secure enough for bumpy rides.

Of over 4700 comments on their popular TikTok video, many note that this could be useful for addressing accessibility issues. "Even pre-COVID I didn't want to touch the rails on the subway or train," wrote one person. "Genius simply because those things are the nastiest," commented another.

"Whoever invented this is gonna be a millionaire," commented someone else. With sales taking off thanks to social media, we'll just have to wait and see if an explosion of blue claws starts to take over the TTC.

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