What TTC.ca Might Be
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What TTC.ca Might Be

Eight months after Torontoist, Reading Toronto, Spacing, and BlogTO all banded together to solicit reader comments to improve the TTC’s website and after Adam Giambrone agreed to re-open the Request for Proposal (RFP) to allow for “a more ambitious and exciting project,” there has finally been some news to report of late. Last week, Adam Giambrone told Torontoist that the website would launch sometime in the fall, and would definitely feature everyone’s top request––a trip planner. Yesterday, in the process of a godammed-extensive breakdown of his grievances, transit nut Joe Clark synthesized some details about the way that the TTC wants its new website to run. Plausibility aside, the TTC’s wishlist for it’s site designer gives us a look––albeit a very incomplete one––into the general idea of what we’ll get come fall when the TTC’s website fills our hearts with joy and delight.
Among the more salient points in the RFP provided by Clark:

  • There will be “trip planning, eCommerce, automated customer notification, next-vehicle arrival (they only mention “train” and “bus”), and Wheel-Trans trip booking.”
  • The site will be “‘easily and quickly downloadable,’ even on a 56K modem.”
  • The site will be designed “to function effectively with common versions of software, hardware, and Internet browsers (i.e., Internet Explorer 5 or higher, Netscape 6 or higher, Firefox, Opera 8 or higher, and Safari).”
  • It will have “RSS feeds and [a] Blog.”
  • It will have some kind of system “’for the functionality and capability of Multi-Language translations. The Company will work with TTC to define, select, and implement an optimal translation tool for a number of languages (e.g., Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin [not materially different when written], Italian, Spanish, French, Polish, Russian, Vietnamese, Korean, Greek, Tamil, and Tagalog).’”
  • There will be “Station and route pages….; What’s New; FAQ; ‘Forward to a friend’ and print-friendly functionality; clickable maps.”
  • There will be “Onscreen font and colour adjustment; ‘software to enable visitor to listen to the text’ (yes, speech output); accesskeys.”
  • “There will be a public beta.”
  • There will be a “‘audio/video tour’ of a station on its page. Oh, and mention of any stores in a station.”

The deadline for the RFP is September 13, which means that the trees will have started to turn before we can expect to see a redesigned TTC.ca. Nonetheless, we’re finally catching glimpses of something that we’ve been waiting a long long time for. Here’s hoping that the TTC gets it done right.
Thanks to Paige Dzenis for tipping us off!