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Smart card finalist names released: you decide the winner starting Friday, Jan 14, 2011!

Smartcards will eventually replace all forms of tickets and passes on our system.

Smartcards will eventually replace all forms of tickets and passes on our system.

As you may have heard already, we have released the three finalist names for our smart card, and we want you to decide on a winner starting Friday, January 14, 2011!

As you know, we’re working on a smart card project for launch in 2013, where you’ll load your transit fares onto a single card that you can use across the system, and track important trip and ridership data for better system planning.

The three shortlisted names are Starfish, Compass or TPass. So visit translink.ca/contest on Friday and weigh in on your favourites: the voting period will be open for two weeks after that, ending on Friday January 28, 2011.

The winning name will be announced at the end of March along with a brand identity for the new card. The contest winner will get an iPad and a smart card loaded with a year’s worth of transit, to be used on the system in 2013. (If more than one person submitted one of these names, we will do a draw from all of those people to get our winner. See the rules and regulations for more info.)

Here’s the press release we issued about the voting today: you can also check out articles from the Province and the Peace Arch News.

As well, here are the past blog posts on the smart card project, and the main TransLink page with more info about the project.


89 Comments

  • By TK, January 12, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

    Not quite pleased with the finalists. Those names definitely lack “personality.” I expected something a little whimsical that gives transit the image of something fun to ride. Starfish would be the best of the three, but I still prefer Otter as the name.

    And how did TPass got there? You know… TP? a**??

  • By ben K, January 12, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

    I have to agree with TK. Both “starfish” and “TP ass” have related derogatory connotations, and “Compass” is rather mundane.

    Interestingly, I was solicited for a Translink survey a few weeks ago that asked my opinions on three shortlisted names — “George” and “Compass” were two of them, and I can’t recall the third. I had assumed those were the finalists, but perhaps I was asked about three random entrants as a means to help guide the panel in choosing same.

    b

  • By Kyle, January 12, 2011 @ 5:47 pm

    Horrible! Tpass is TERRIBLE. Compass is so mundane! It should have something to do with our local culture, and at least have a bit of fun.
    Starfish is getting there. George would have been great! Something more creative, we’re a creative city!

  • By ericmk, January 12, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    Yeah, I thought the finalists were a little disappointing, too. I was kinda hoping for something that was distinctively West Coast or Pacific Northwest- I don’t really associate any of the finalists with those categories. Oh well, I’ll put my support for starfish on Friday because I think an animal would be the most friendly face for the smart card.

  • By TheArcticChar Charlotte K, January 12, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    I quite dislike TPass.. In fact I despise it. It’s just Translink Pass, WOOAAHH TPass…. It doesn’t move me whatsoever, I know what the card does, I do not need name clarification.
    Compass is also not too fantastic. I think people are looking for something artistic and vibrant, this doesn’t cut it.
    Star fish came close for creativity, so out of the three that would be my picking.
    Agreeing with Kyle above, George would be great.

    Quite disappointing. ROARR

  • By Sam, January 12, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

    None of those names are too great, but I’ll have to agree that Starfish is the better one out of the 3. Are we following the crowd with naming smart cards with sea animals, like Octopus and Oyster? We should have picked a more west coast or something that represents Vancouver!

  • By Henry, January 12, 2011 @ 6:21 pm

    Whatever happened to Umbrella Pass. It was one of the previous 4 finalists along with George, Otter and Compass. Not to mention that San Diego also names their smart card Compass as well. It’s just not original.

  • By ben K, January 12, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    That was the third one… Umbrella.

    So what’s the real story here; were George, Umbrella and Compass the original finalists, and then two of the three were scuttled at the last minute?

    b

  • By ben K, January 12, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

    Err, and Otter. So, “three of the four” scuttled…

  • By TK, January 12, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

    Good one Henry! I overlooked Umbrella, but thinking of the meaning and how umbrellas are important to us Vancouverites, it totally makes sense. “Don’t forget your Umbrella Card!” would make a great farecard campaign. Good catch on “Compass” as it’s already been picked up by SD Transit.

    Otter, George and Umbrella should be the final 3. All uniquely west coast. All with personality. All with great marketing potential. Is there still time to change the finalists? Please don’t mess this up, Translink!

  • By ;-), January 12, 2011 @ 6:40 pm

    Hmm…. looking at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_smart_cards.

    Compass CARD is used in San Diego. Starfish and TPass haven’t been used yet.

    I can see how “T” can refer to Transit or Translink to assist tourists. It also goes well with the new “T” signage around the Skytrain stations.

    Japan has NicePass, Saskatoon has Go-Pass, Utah has Eco Pass, Mumbai has BusPass, Macau has Macau pass, Manila has G-Pass, Korea has hi-pass and FreePass, Seoul has UPass, Bankok has Smart pass, Bordeaux has Le Pass, Paris has Navigo pass, Tours has Multipass, Kemerovo has Electronic pass, and Istanbul has Pass-A-port.

    If TPass is a liability, I’m sure they can do something like “T-Pass”.

    Yes, I would have liked Otter as well.

  • By andrew k, January 12, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    not a fan of the three final names…
    they all seem kind of uninspired
    would’ve liked to see umbrella in the final group, given it was in that survey that misled us

    and spelling TPass as T-Pass wouldn’t really help given that the U-Pass has a dash and people still use creative spelling for it

  • By Marcin, January 12, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    As most of the posters, I’m not very fond of any of those names. Otter would have been my favourite.

  • By verymadanonymous, January 12, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

    hey translink,
    you guys absolutely failed at picking the finalists…just to be frank…they are crap, i mean, c’mon, tpass, starfish that doesn’t have anything to do with vancouver. compass is the best out of the three but it still sucks……………ALOT!!!

    to translink: please select another pair of finalists as the current ones lack everything needed to make a good farecard name.

  • By Cliff, January 12, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    Can’t say I like it. Umbrella or even Gerorge would have been neat.

    Out of those three, Compass is the best, but it’s more or less the lesser of three evils. I myself submitted “Burrard Card” and I think it’s better than the three you have up there.

    C’mon guys, I know you can do better!

  • By tek, January 12, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

    Wow, I thought my idea was so silly that I didn’t even bother entering. London may call theirs the “Oyster Card” but it’s catchy. My idea was the Orca Card. Kind of a BC thing, and could be catchy. Starfish just sounds sort of… lame. I’ll be voting for compass. TPass is too much like T-Pain. We don’t need those jokes. Well, transit can be a pain. But still.

  • By tek, January 12, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

    Doh, looks like Seattle already stole the Orca Card name… oh well.

  • By Kyle, January 12, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    Hey everyone, I’m trying get translink to change the finalists. Check out my twitter at @hi_its_Kyle for updates but for now please submit a former complaint by following my info here : http://tl.gd/83slrc . I have a prewritten letter and everything. Let’s get a good fair card name!

  • By Tim Choi, January 12, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

    /echo of above general sentiments

    @;-) Sidenote: Istanbul doesn’t have “Pass-A-port” for the majority of its system – as you’ll note in the Wiki entry, it’s only used for one private ferry company, which I’ve never had to take during the four months I was there.
    Their main public transit system uses “IstanbulKart” smart card and the older electronic button called an “Akbil”.

  • By Kenny, January 12, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    Have to agree… 3 losers. TP Ass!!! my god what committee came up with that one!!!
    Back to the drawing board, guys.

  • By kiran r, January 12, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    its like a 6 yr old suggested starfish, and they felt sorry for him.

  • By Doug, January 12, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

    San Diego already has the Compass Card http://compass.511sd.com/ – this needs to be eliminated from consideration. All three finalists are disappointing choices. What happened to Otter? That would be my first choice. The three finalists don’t represent Vancouver, BC, or the Pacific Northwest.

  • By Bill, January 12, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

    I may be old but at least I know what “Starfish” means to the younger crowd. Look at urbandictionary.com and anyone can see this name should be vetted. Something simple like “Skypass” should do it.

  • By ;-), January 12, 2011 @ 9:57 pm

    @Tim: Thanks for the clarification.

  • By Michael, January 12, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

    Umbrella or George were the best options.

  • By Scott, January 12, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    How about “Lotus Land Pass”

  • By Shane, January 12, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

    What a shame. I’m disappointed and I won’t be voting. The best names from the original list were eliminated.

  • By TK, January 13, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    Here’s another interesting point: At the end of the contest, everyone will end up with the name that no one really likes. So, what’s the point of the public contest when those finalist names were the product of marketing “research” and not the public opinion? Names like Umbrella, Otter and George ended up on the “other” ballot simply because they were popular and everyone at least likes one of them.

    I have a hunch this could end up like those Olymmpic mascots. We didn’t really like them at first but then those names and images sorta grew on us… and we ended up loving them.

  • By David, January 13, 2011 @ 12:19 am

    These are the choices? Really?
    But then, it’s translink, when have they not disappoint the public?
    What happened to Umbrella and George?

    All 3 finalist should be removed ASAP.
    Starfish: really? do people at translink not at least google the word?
    Compass: Sorry, San Diego uses this already. Do some research next time.
    TPass: T-P-ASS, or the P ass. Sounds like a joke entry made it all the way this far.

    My choice is Kinect. Yes, it’s same name as xbox motion sensor, but the word also works for transit.
    “kinect” as in people moving and “connect” as in connecting people and places.

  • By wolfsleepy, January 13, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    If any one of these three finalist names are actually chosen, I’m buying a car.

  • By klparrot, January 13, 2011 @ 1:00 am

    Wow. I’m disappointed, TransLink.

    Starfish? Umm, first of all, the animal is called a sea star, but more importantly, “starfish” has a rather rude alternate meaning. It’s well-enough-known that it should remove Starfish from contention right there.

    Compass? Not bad, but it doesn’t really associate itself with Vancouver at all. Also, already used in San Diego, so aren’t there trademark issues? If nothing else, it’ll produce confusion when people Google for info about it. Shouldn’t have been in contention for that reason.

    TPass is less objectionable, TP-ass pronunciation notwithstanding. But it’s incredibly bland. If you’re going to go with something lacking any personality, why not just call it a FareCard, and redefine the term to say FareCards can hold passes or monetary value?

    Preferably don’t call it a pass in any case; call it a card. Passes can be loaded on the card.

    How did Umbrella or Otter not make the final list? I can practically guarantee either one would get as many votes as these three combined. I’d vote Umbrella. There’s meaning (brings everything under one card (I hope there are some plans to allow it to be used for more than transit, similar to Octopus) and association with Vancouver (or at least Vancouver winters).

    FWIW, my suggestion was Chirp; kinda nature-y, and it can be used as a verb, i.e. chirp in or out of the system at a faregate.

  • By andrew k, January 13, 2011 @ 1:33 am

    my submission was Lotus
    i figured local transit user -> lotus
    would’ve been ok with voting for umbrella though

    i hope kyle’s petition doesn’t get ignored

  • By mark!, January 13, 2011 @ 2:04 am

    Umbrella didn’t make the cut? Really?

    Not only is it a ‘local’ name (you know, the rain) but the terminology for umbrella makes reference to it being a universal pass for all public transit.

    At the very least it should have been the finalist. How in the world did Umbrella and Otter lose to TPass and Starfish?

  • By emily, January 13, 2011 @ 5:27 am

    Agree with many comments above!

    TPass = ya know, Toilet Paper a**!
    Compass = boring
    Starfish = unimaginative: could we set a trend instead of following one?

    LOVE LOVE LOVE: George
    also love: Umbrella

    I’m so disappointed with the results of this contest. Hate to be a critic. A lot of the comments are constructive, though!

    Jhenifer: are you in any way, able to pass these comments on? I know it would be so appreciated!

  • By anon, January 13, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    It is amazing to see so many comments here in such a short period of time, and not one of them are positive. Jhenifer, surely Translink cannot ignore this can they? I agree the names are very disappointing. Have you communicated the community response to others within Translink (I know this isn’t your job, but I am just wondering what internal reactions you are seeing to this negative response…) Thanks :D

  • By ;-), January 13, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    Here’s a little write up about George. They are also use T-Pass.
    http://www.cknw.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocal/Story.aspx?ID=1342802

  • By David M, January 13, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    I submitted T-card and T-pass, but not TPass for the reason mentioned. I quite the like the T as it can be for tourist, transit, translink and relates well to the T signage going up. Compass and Starfish are just mundane and too much like everybody else.

    But what happened to Umbrella – as much as I’d like an iPad, I would vote for Umbrella – it works at different levels and surely the Umbrella is a icon of Vancouver. Or maybe the powers-that-be didn’t like the image of rain?

  • By mezzanine, January 13, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    I like starfish out of the three. I wouldn’t worry about “alternate” meanings either – look up “otter” or “oyster” on urban dictionary. If we were worried about that, large chunks of potential names would have to be eliminated.

    Now TP-ass, that seems to be constructed for ridicule… ;-)

    And Compass? too generic, San Diego has it as well.

  • By MMc, January 13, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    I think I like all three (if those are our only ones to choose from) the Starfish makes it unique to BC Coast, Compass or the TPass would certainly transcend all of BC (as this is what Translink hopes to do with this card eventually!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 13, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    emily (and all others on this thread): I am definitely passing your comments on to our smartcard team! It’s super appreciated that you are taking the time to share your thoughts on the smartcard contest.

  • By Sewing, January 13, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

    Like David M, I also submitted T-Pass, with the hyphen. It fits with U-Pass, embodies the T that has come to symbolize transit in Metro Vancouver, and is simple and distinctive.

    Seoul, Korea uses “T-Money,” which can be used on a number of public transport services there (bus, subway, commuter train), and can also be used with some retailers.

    With so much emphasis on other names, I was surprised that it was shortlisted at all!

    TPass (without the hyphen) didn’t occur to me, nor did potential puns. I’d rather have it with the hyphen.

  • By craig, January 13, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    I hope Starfish is chosen as it’s the most marketable. If you don’t mind, here’s some of the ones I thought up.

    SNAP, ORBIT, OCEAN, Osprey, T-GO, TiGO(tap in > go), TKiss, MyLink, OneCard, MyKi, PUCK, BLUE, ECHO, QUBE. Trademark issues probably with some of those, but you never know.

    I’ve attached my email address;)

  • By daniel, January 13, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    I still think mine beats all of those finalists.

    Carde Blanche

    It’s got everything! Pun, bi-lingualism, and even the original term makes sense as to what this card is for.

  • By Bryn, January 13, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

    Ugh.

    TP-ass? Seriously?

    Bring back Umbrella!! I want an Umbrella Card!

  • By Julien, January 13, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    I’m in agreement with the majority of replies, in that the selection list is uninspired and prone to ridicule. I had suggested some names that were more representative of our local area. Like many, I have a huge fondness for the name Otter. They’re such lively, communal, maritime creatures. I want to think of positive associations, not something like toilet paper or the silly connotations of “starfish”.

  • By George Lover, January 13, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

    You guys (translink) already had the winner! It was in your grasp! George card! What happened?! I was already seeing a little caricature of Cap. George Vancouver with a funny hat and a spyglass riding atop the seabus, riding atop a skytrain, etc. ‘Exploring’ the city on transit like he did when he discovered Vancouver. It clearly had the most brand/marketing potential – adventure and a segue into a story about the city – for visitors, etc., etc. What a bummer. Jhenifer – please tell them to bring back George!! :)

  • By TK, January 13, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    I have a copy of tomorrow’s (Jan 14) Buzzer and in the naming contest section it doesn’t list the 3 announced finalists and doesn’t state when the vote will actually commence (but asked us to “check back later”). I know that this was written days before yesterday’s announcement but does it also mean that Translink can decide to take those names back due to overwhelming criticism?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 13, 2011 @ 3:35 pm

    TK: No, the language around that piece was owing to the fact that we didn’t know the dates for the vote yet. As far as I know, the contest and vote will be going forward as planned with the names suggested.

  • By Dan Cooper, January 13, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    I must be a fuddy duddy, because I had never heard “starfish” as a sexual term before. Well, it took some effort to even find it referred to that way online; google doesn’t take you there without effort, essentially knowing just what you’re looking for. Still, Starfish as a card name sounds weird to me. As someone else noted above, if it must be this animal, its real name Sea Star is far better.

    That being said, I had just assumed the card would be called something like Otter or Salmon or the like, with some kind of cultural/local relevance. Starfish doesn’t have this, and TPass or Compass are completely meaningless. Actually, TPass is not just ridiculous but scatological, again as noted above. Even I, fuddy duddy that I am, saw that one immediately.

  • By Cliff, January 13, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    A “None of the above” option should be included to represent the widespread resentment at the shortlisted finalists.

    People will only be choosing the one they think is the least awful. In my eyes, that’s a horrible way to wrap up a contest.

    THREE NEW NAMES! THREE NEW NAMES! THREE NEW NAMES!

  • By TK, January 13, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

    @Cliff: Or better yet, write-ins. I think there should be a write-in option for voters who aren’t satisfy with any of the names.

  • By jojo, January 13, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

    GEORGE? why NOT MARYJANE? since we are famousfor it in the Westcoast?

  • By Stephanie, January 13, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

    I agree with that there should be none of the above option. All three apparent finalists names are terrible. I like Umbrella and George isn’t too bad either.

  • By ericmk, January 13, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

    In response to those who cry for George, I like the idea of naming it after Captain Vancouver, but there are some issues you might not be aware of! Many people might think of George Bush- and it could be argued that the name could be from any George and that’s probably why it wasn’t a finalist. Also, when I think of George, I first think of George Washington, a founding father of the US and the namesake of Washington State and Washington DC. I don’t think TransLink would want something that’s associated so much with the US! Just thought I should add some thoughts from a dual Canadian-US citizen!

  • By K, January 13, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    Someone at Translink needs to retract these finalist.

    Epic Fail.

  • By Cliff, January 13, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

    Yeah, a write in would be a pretty good idea too.

    I think there’s enough support and information that people will consistently be submitting Umbrella or George. It seems those two names have most support.

  • By TK, January 13, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    But then again, didn’t we already write in when we submitted the names in the first place?

    Another reason that they opted for names with low entries (83 Starfish, 69 Compass and 58 TPass) could be that they’re convenient to draw the prize! (bingo balls, anyone?) If there are thousands of entries for one name, what fair method can be used? Some people may call foul that electronic random draw can be compromised.

    Well, looks like I can do nothing to change after all. Best of luck to Translink, and I hope one of the transit systems out there planning to have electronic fare card picks up “Otter” as the name. Great creative marketing potential, promote environmental cause and attract youth to use transit system.

  • By BC girl, January 13, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

    Our 3 choices for this new Transit Smart Card should be:

    1/ Umbrella Card,
    2/ T-Card (not TPass),
    3/ Otter Card

    (I agree that Compass must go if it’s already in use by San Diego, and if Translink eventually wants this to be a BC-wide smart card, we should opt for Otter over Starfish because Otters live in both salt & fresh water.)

  • By Alex2000, January 13, 2011 @ 10:59 pm

    @ericmk

    Can’t use the name George because of a couple US presidents also had the name and few might be confused? Please! I think most Canadians would think of George Vancouver, but also of Kings of Canada like George V and VI. The Prince of Wales is also likely to use George upon becoming King (as his grandfather did). So George VII. There is also the Georgia Straight.

  • By Jim, January 13, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

    I like the Otter, Compass, or Umbrella. I also agree that there should be a option on the voting that I don’t like all the above. Jhenifer can we add that to the voting ballot? I bet this might not be the last voting process. Translink keeps sending out different names and a lot of them are bad I just hope we have one that inspires and pulls from something that represents the region as a whole.

  • By Seriously?, January 13, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

    “By Shane, January 12, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

    What a shame. I’m disappointed and I won’t be voting. The best names from the original list were eliminated.”

    My sentiments exactly. I’m with the people who want a write-in option, or a “none of the above” option, because the three final names all suck eggs.

    Umbrella:
    - West coast icon
    - Useful in all seasons (protect from rain OR sun)
    - A nearly indispensible accessory
    - Meaning encompassing multiple purposes
    - NOT in use in any other transit systems AFAIK

    How this was left off the final list is beyond comprehension.
    Disclaimer: I have no connection to anyone who may have submitted the suggestion.

  • By Jarett, January 14, 2011 @ 2:55 am

    How is Compass still an option? It’s been DONE already. It’s TAKEN. As long as we’re recycling other cities’ ideas we may as well just call our pass the “Oyster card” – it doesn’t matter that the name has been taken before… right?

    Starfish comes second to Otter, and Umbrella beat them both. (I didn’t like “George Card” – seemed a little ethnocentric to me…)

    TPass might work, if it was done right (need to keep the T and the Pass separate in people’s minds)… on the card, ads, brochures etc. you’d have to spell it with the blue-and-white T logo at the beginning followed by “Pass”, and in print spell it “T Pass” with a space (no hyphen, not one word) – or maybe even “Tee pass” or “Tea Pass”. Then reinforce the “T” with a teacup or teapot and use the slogan “it’s tea time” (ie time to relax: on the bus/train you can relax, read a book, use your phone, and de-stress)

  • By Jarett, January 14, 2011 @ 4:44 am

    elaborating on my ideas for T Pass:

    -Absolutely need to spell it T Pass (it’s pretty hard to see TP or ass when the space is there), and using the logo whenever possible

    -Have a teacup or teapot motif (not necessarily the English kind – we have lots of Asian green tea, hippie tea-lattes, chai, yerba mate after yoga, etc. – lots of tea drinkers here!). Use some variation of “It’s tea time!” as a repeat slogan for marketing. “Tea time” meaning it’s time to relax, read the paper, read a book, chat softly, etc. – all the things you can do on the bus or train that you can’t do in a car.

    Don’t have to worry about being late (system is reliable), being rushed (system is fast), being careful (system is safe), getting lost (system is accessible and easy to use), work you have to do (you can do it on the bus if you want!), etc. – you can just sit back, relax, let your worries slip away, and “Enjoy Your T”… er, your tea :) Associate transit with relaxation and being stress-free.

    Then there’s the health angle too: tea is regarded as a healthy drink; “tea time” is for your health. Well now transit is good for your health: keeps you active, keeps you relaxed, much safer means of transport, etc.. And it’s good for [I]our[/I] health too – transit keeps our air cleaner, cuts congestion, promotes a better urban landscape, etc..

    I think it offers quite a bit of branding potential with a little imagination: with tea, tea time, drinking tea, Enjoy Your T, a golf tee – you could even run a TV ad with someone teeing off at golf. They hit the ball off the tee and the T logo is revealed behind where the ball was, and the tagline “It’s Time to Relax” gets shown/said (or maybe the logo [I]is[/I] the tee). The T logo gives you the flexibility to use anything that’s pronounced like “T” or even shaped like “T” as an immediate hook and gives you a wide range of logos/mascots/icons etc to choose from (hey, even an open Umbrella looks like a T from the side!). Maybe the T logo itself could even be ‘mascotted’ somehow…

    All with the added bonus that you are simultaneously vastly reinforcing the actual physical street presence of the transit system… I think this option is growing on me…

  • By transit user, January 14, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    I would have liked the name Orca-Pass.. it makes sense as we’re by the coast and all….. just my thoughts..

  • By Althea, January 14, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    OK, voting is supposed to open today… Website is not up-to-date!

  • By Arthur Klassen, January 14, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    Give it a shape like a starfish and I’ll gladly call it a Starfish.

    Other than that, these names are lamer than those of the Olympic mascots (and no, @TK, I didn’t end up loving them. “Free Mukmuk!” … spare me, p’lease). Where’s the box for “none of the above” going to be? Count my vote there but in a disappointed state. I was hoping for a submission I could actually get behind. Even a “GVPass” would be better with its double entendre to “Greater Vancouver” and “George Vancouver” — add some artwork of the captain surveying the modern downtown skyline from the deck of the Discovery, and it’d soon become a classic.

    This exercise makes fine material for yet another “despair.com” poster, like the one about meetings: “None of us is as dumb as all of us.”

  • By Althea, January 14, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    TK: How do you know the numbers for how many people submitted each name? Was it published somewhere?

  • By Dan Penner, January 14, 2011 @ 9:12 am

    Having just got back from New York and using the Metrocard, I like the name COMPASS, as this describes not only the North, South, East and West, but also the combinations, NWN or ESE. The 360 points of the compass, are like our destinations, home, work, school or an event. I understand the original compass rose also came from the big rose coloured stained glass windows up in the church steeple.

  • By Amber Hughes, January 14, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    I just emailed a complaint about this, but thought I would post here as well – I’m completely surprised by how mundane all of the finalists are. For a city as diverse as Vancouver, you’d expect a little more imagination. For my money, it’s either Otter or Umbrella.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 14, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    Althea: It seems the voting form isn’t quite ready yet! I’ll post a note on the blog when the voting is open.

  • By Kevin Ho, January 14, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    In line with most of the sentiment here I was also pretty disappointed with these Finalists. Umbrella is such a natural and obvious name for our transit pass. These finalist seem incredibly uninspired… and just lame. Please reconsider.

  • By Althea, January 14, 2011 @ 9:57 am

    Thanks, Jhenifer. Can you confirm how many people submitted each name?

  • By zack, January 14, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    I agree that TPass doesn’t look like a good name. People new to it could mistakenly name it as TP a**. And Starfish??!! What about Orca! or something more related West Coast?! The three shortlisted names don’t look as surprising as I thought.

  • By Dani, January 14, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    I too, would have voted for “Umbrella Card”, the remaining names are either in use, or rather uninspired. If we want to be boring old BC again then we’ll end up with T-Pass.

  • By KYM, January 14, 2011 @ 10:50 am

    Umbrella card would have got my vote. How they picked the finalists is a mystery. Especially TPass. Didn’t they check on the possibilities of becoming a laughing stock?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 14, 2011 @ 10:55 am

    Althea, TK: I’ve checked into it and yes, I can confirm that 83 submitted Starfish, 69 Compass and 58 TPass. The number was provided to the media but I can’t seem to find the reference—TK, could you let us know where you saw it?

    Incidentally, I’m not sure that those numbers are actually a “low” number for each entry, as there were 14,000 unique entries submitted by 56,000 people, and not a ton of consensus! As well, as I recall, some of the higher volume ones were obviously other people’s local names too: some people really liked the Canucks card, for example. At any rate, I don’t think a low or high number of submitters makes drawing a winner any easier, as you can use a random number generator etc to make the choice from a big or small list quite easily.

  • By freddie, January 14, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

    hi jhenifer. translink earlier tweeted 4 names as the finalists. then, apparently changed their minds. do you know why they did this? was it trademark infringement? public outcry? thx.

  • By Cameron W., January 14, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    How was Otter Pass removed and these three entries remain? They’re absolutely awful.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano - Buzzer Editor, January 14, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

    Freddie: As I understand it, a research process was undertaken to identify the final candidates for the smart card name. Those first four names then emerged into public view after being run through our market research panel, TransLink Listens, at the start of the research process. However, after further market research, the project team ultimately decided on the current three names as finalists for the public vote.

  • By freddie, January 14, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    thanx, Jhenifer.

  • By TK, January 15, 2011 @ 2:11 am

    Just for fun, I scribbled some of the branding ideas for Otter and Umbrella while on my snack break. http://imgur.com/Tyn2A (My favourite is the Otter one in the middle with otters holding hands.)

    I couldn’t think of anything creatively iconic for TPass, Compass or Starfish somehow.

  • By Graeme, January 16, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    I don’t care much for “Starfish” or “Compass” myself. I like “TPass” more, but I have to agree that it looks kind of dumb without a hyphen.

    In the end, though, I don’t think it much matters what it is named. How many of us refer to our FareCard as such? Don’t we just call it a “bus pass”?

    Without looking, how many of us can name the advertiser on the front of their FareCard? I’m guessing not many, as we never really look at our pass anyway. We just glance at it occasionally to make sure that it is facing the right way to show the driver. (I had to dig mine out just now to verify that it was still called a “FareCard”!)

    Whatever name we choose, TransLink will surely use it to their marketing advantage, and then we’ll all forget all about it and refer to it as a “bus pass”. Or maybe just a “pass”, or some other name that is invented “on the street”. I think this is typical Vancouver: we don’t usually like cute little names that are assigned to things, but happily accept nicknames that develop organically.

  • By Josh, January 17, 2011 @ 3:18 am

    BRING BACK UMBRELLA! These current ones are BAD!

  • By Rob, January 18, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    These names are horrible. Lack of imagination and too general to define a specific region of the world.

    The previous names; Otter and Umbrella, would’ve made much better names.

    Very disappointing indeed.

  • By Marshy, January 27, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

    I agree with everyone who mentioned Umbrella. It makes perfect sense too because it rains all the time in Vancouver and we never leave home without an umbrella.

    It’d be fun to have a nice happy yellow pass with some kind of umbrella logo. Doubt the pass would ever be that fun and creative, though.

Other Links to this Post

  1. Tweets that mention The Buzzer blog » Smart card finalist names released: you decide the winner starting Friday, Jan 14, 2011! -- Topsy.com — January 13, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

  2. The Buzzer blog » The January 2011 Buzzer is now out! — January 14, 2011 @ 10:01 am

  3. The Buzzer blog » Smart card naming contest vote now open, January 14, 2011 — January 14, 2011 @ 11:42 am

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