July 25, 2017 7:06 pm
Updated: July 25, 2017 7:55 pm

Ontario’s Metrolinx hopes to shake off public invisibility with $250K in new branding

WATCH ABOVE: You might have seen the regional transit agency’s new imagery start rolling out last spring. Mark Carcasole reports on how much it cost and what you think.

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The crown agency that manages the province’s public transportation wants you to know who they are.

Metrolinx, which has operated GO Transit for more than a decade and, more recently, the  Union Pearson Express, is spending $250,000 on market testing and design to heighten its brand awareness. A move the company believes is important since it controls over $1 billion of Ontario’s transit budget.

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“It’s important that we help people put together what it means,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told AM 640’s Morning Show. “We’re a bigger family now than when we started and we’ve got $34 billion worth of work that ‘s gonna be in your backyard, in your front yard, down your street, and in your business area.”

LISTEN: Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins on AM 640’s Morning Show with Matt and Supriya.

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The new branding has been gradually appearing across Metrolinx properties in the past few months following a research project conducted in 2016. The most significant change is the company’s logo which has moved away from rounded letters in two shades of green to a more rigid set of white characters on a black background.

Metrolinx logos past and present.

@Metrolinx

According to Metrolinx, the change was to modernize the logo and to comply with Ontario’s accessibility laws which identifies barriers regarding colour blindness.

Aikens says the roll out will be done in “a fiscally responsible way. ” New logos and trim will only be put on properties that are new or part of a planned upgrade or refurbishing. Most large vehicles will be at bottom of the conversion list with smaller signs, employee uniforms, agency publications and Presto cards seeing the transition from green to black, sooner.

WATCH: Metrolinx spending more than it needs to, says Ontario auditor general

Progressive Conservative finance critic Vic Fedeli  told AM 640 that he doesn’t understand the move saying, “it’s simply just another waste of taxpayers money.”

Fedeli mocks the $250,000 cost and a statement from the company saying “many of the changes will be subtle and hardly noticeable to the customers.”

“They’re out of touch with reality. That’s like your snobby friend telling you, you wouldn’t understand the album ’cause it’s too subtle.”

LISTEN: PC Finance Critic Vic Fedeli on new Metrolinx branding with AM 640’s Morning Show with Matt and Supriya.

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A study requisitioned by Metrolinx in 2016 revealed that close to 50 per cent of GTA did not know who the company was or what they did. That’s something Aikins says the company hopes to remedy with the new brand roll-out and plans to follow it up with more regular research.

“We want people to see the bigger picture.” said Aikens “We want people to understand what that’s all about and what that’s connected to. It’s gonna be more transit in your neighbourhood.”

READ MORE: Metrolinx inks deal with Alstom as LRT spat with Bombardier continues

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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