Metrolinx introduces ‘see-through’ buses in the GTA

Metrolinx is being (sort of) transparent about its efforts to keep its vehicles safe and clean during the pandemic.

As part of its ongoing “Safety never stops” campaign outlining the more than 40 safety measures it has implemented across its GO Transit and UP Express systems during the pandemic, the transit agency has rolled out “see-through” buses across the GTA. The four buses will be on the road for between six months and a year, said Mark Childs, Metrolinx’s chief marketing and communications officer.

Developed with agency partner BBDO Canada, photographer Gustavo Toledo and production company D’Avila Studio, the buses use perforated vinyl wraps to create the illusion that the exterior of the bus is see-through, enabling people to see the passengers—and one service dog—inside. (See the making-of video below.) The wrap bears the message “Clean from the inside out.”

Childs describes the bus wraps as “moving billboards” that are cost-effective media assets for the transit organization. Ridership for GO Transit’s rail service is at 39% of pre-COVID levels, while its bus service is at 65%. Metrolinx continues to slowly build the service back up, including adding 149 rail trips back into the system in September, said Childs.

The “Safety never stops” campaign has been effective communications tool for Metrolinx with customer safety scores increasing. Fully 85% of customers said they are satisfied with how Metrolinx is communicating its face-covering health and safety policy; and a greater proportion of new customers are using its service.

Chris Powell