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2007 01 22
The Toronto Blogs’ Open Letter To The TTC Chair

When Reading Toronto, Blogto, Spacing, and Torontoist asked readers for ideas on how to improve the TTC's website, we did not anticipate the massive response. Thank you for your input. We have collected all your ideas and are sending them to Adam Giambrone, the TTC's new Chairman. Here is our open letter to Mr. Giambrone.

Attn: Mr. Adam Giambrone

Chairman, Toronto Transit Commission

Dear Mr. Giambrone,

The city's four major Blog sites dealing with city issues - Blogto.com, Readingtoronto.com, Spacing.ca, and Torontoist.com - asked for their readers' ideas on how to improve the TTC's rider information website.

Thousands read about our call for suggestions. Hundreds responded. The city's major media outlets also covered our challenge.

Attached to the formal version of this letter are two documents. One includes the complete list of suggestions made by our readers. The other integrates those suggestions in an easy to use spreadsheet (RT-TTCmatrix220107.xls). That document lists the recommendations by reader popularity and refers to the blog and comment number where reader suggestions can be found.

For example, the most popular suggestion for the site is to improve the User Interface & Information Architecture. Forty-five readers made that suggestion. The second most popular recommendation is to add a "Point-to-Point" trip planner. Twenty-seven readers asked for that. In addition, many readers offered examples of transit websites they thought worked. Those are also listed in their own category.

The blog Editors have three key recommendations:

  1. Our readers - who are frequent users of the TTC - believe that their ideas, if implemented, can significantly improve the TTC website.

  2. The budget for the website redesign should reflect its importance in terms of the numbers of people who refer to it (millions every month) and the potential for increasing TTC ridership. The site should be considered an essential operating budget line item rather than a marketing "frill." As many transit systems know, a good website adds to the bottom line.

  3. While we applaud the TTC for issuing a RFP for a new site, the user input our challenge generated and the media firestorm that followed it suggest the RFP be reissued to reflect the now better understood needs of TTC users.

Yours truly,

Robert Ouellette, Readingtoronto.com

Tim Shore, Blogto.com

Matt Blackett, Spacing.ca

David Topping & Marc Lostracco, Torontoist.com
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 01/22 at 03:36 PM

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