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ETS choosing marketing over service changes? - Metro US

ETS choosing marketing over service changes?

Every four months ETS announces its latest round of schedule changes, and every four months I comb through the schedules looking for that big, bold change that many riders have been waiting for.

The end of April brought the inauguration of a new LRT extension, but it also introduced some incredibly annoying forced transfers for bus riders. The end of August, on the other hand, has ETS making quite the splash.

In fact, I can’t even recognize the schedules and maps. I’m still a little stunned, but that’s just because they’re so very, very pink. Sadly, a colour change qualifies as a pretty dramatic change for ETS, and it sticks out even more against the lack of any real service changes.

A tedious run through the frequency charts and schedules show that the trunk routes haven’t seen a boost to relieve crowded runs. The routes all seem to be the same as those announced at the end of March. As far as I can tell, the only changes are that the 55 now has about a third more weekday trips and the seasonal student-oriented routes and trips are back. I say “as far as I can tell” because ETS hasn’t issued its usual summary, which, I suspect, is because all they could really announce is “we made the schedules pink.”

Well, they could mention the larger font and clearer timetable, but the obnoxious pink really catches the eye. Being that pink isn’t an ETS colour, it seems an odd choice, but I have two theories.

One possibility is that the jarring colours are a result of the “every day way” campaign having completely taken over ETS. Apparently silly slogans on the covers like “the every day way to be early for the meeting” just aren’t enough (I suspect most would rather be on-time than early, but that’s another article).

The other theory is that ETS has simply run out of cyan ink from printing blue and is moving on to magenta. In this case, get ready for yellow schedules in a few years.

Either way, it seems that there’s more effort going into marketing than service changes right now. With a major, positive, revamp of routes still looking unlikely in the near future, these kinds of graphic design changes may be all we have to look forward to.

In the meantime, please enjoy your new pink schedules.

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