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West Coast Express wants you to stand as far back as you would from a guy with garlic breath

"Stand Back from the Yellow Line as Far Back as You Would Stand From That guy with the Garlic Breath"

West Coast Express’s Yellow Line Campaign poster

Over the years, more and more people have been turning to West Coast Express to get around in Metro Vancouver. In fact, average ridership has doubled since its launch in 1995 and its growth doesn’t appear to be stopping!

For West Coast Express that means finding new and creative ways to let riders, who may not be used to commuting via train or familiar with station and platform protocol,  know about the dangers of not following safety warnings.

The challenge, though, is that most safety messages lack the ability to engage and often simply blend into the woodwork.  As a result, they don’t have the desired effect for changing people’s perceptions or habits.

That’s why West Coast Express has developed new experimental materials for its annual Yellow Line Campaign to raise awareness about standing too close to the platform edge!

A series of posters were rolled out in 2013 at the station’s platforms asking people to stand as far back from the Yellow Line as you would stand from a guy with garlic breath.

The campaign returned and was kicked up a notch earlier this month!

Rather than using traditional print signage, a series of “About as far back as…” pay-off lines were chalk-sprayed underneath existing  ‘Stand Back From The Yellow Line’ messaging on the platforms.

These pay-off lines were crowdsourced from West Coast Express riders and were updated on a weekly basis – creating a level of anticipation amongst the riders since some of the lines were created by them.

The real key is that in order for the people on the platform to be able to read the pay-off lines (printed on the pavement), they’d have to stand back so that they aren’t stepping on the printed lines. As a result, they’d actually be standing further back from the Yellow Line!

The messaging at work forcing people to stand back from the yellow line!

The messaging at work forcing people to stand even further back from the yellow line!

This five-week campaign started on July 7 and was developed with five different lines to be used. Each week, a new line appears at a station and will culminate with a final line that isn’t a joke, but a sobering reminder of the realistic dangers from standing too close to the platform edge.

So far, the pay-off lines that have been released are:

  • As far back as you’d stand from the guy doing the robot with no music playing.
  • As far back as you’d stand from the guy wearing a speedo.
  • As far back as you’d stand from the boss before their morning coffee.

There are still two more lines to be released, so keep an eye out for them at West Coast Express stations!

What are your suggestions for a pay-off line? Let us know in the comments section below! No promises, but we might even feature some of the best ones!

Author: Allen Tung


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