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Stand back from tracks: TransLink

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

West Coast Express train at a station. (TRANSLINK)

West Coast Express train at a station. (TRANSLINK)

It’s a problem those who put up warning signs constantly face — how do you get people to pay attention to them?

One attempt the folks at TransLink have developed is by injecting humour into the safety messages.

The transit authority hired marketing agency BRANDSPANK to crowd-source suggestions from West Coast Express users to find a cheeky message that would get riders to step away from the tracks.

The messages warn riders to stand back as far as “you’d stand from the boss before their morning coffee,” or from “the guy doing the robot with no music playing.”

But the real key, TransLink says, is customers have to stand behind the lines to even read them as the messages are within the do-not-stand-here portion of the platforms.

“By building a mechanism that encouraged the riders to step back, this has become one of those cases where ‘the medium is the message’ since people actually had to stand back from the yellow line,” said Andrew Sharpe of BRANDSPANK in a statement.

It’s designed to be a five-week campaign running through Aug. 4 — two other messages have yet to be released.

There are no plans to bring a similar campaign to SkyTrain and Canada Line stations.

“Serious injury through accidental falls has been reported over the years. WCE aims to prevent those with its yellow line campaign,” TransLink said. 

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