It’s I Love Transit week, October 7–11, and we’re bringing you stories about our customers, staff, transit enthusiasts and all things we love about transit.
TransLink’s a team of nearly 8,000 employees. We’re all united in support of our customers — all 500,000 of you — who depend on us to get to and from work, visit an old friend and everything else in between.
We asked one of our employees, Jada Stevens from our wayfinding department, to share why she loves transit and what she loves most about serving you, our customers. Wayfinding designs the maps and directional signage you find at transit stations.
By Jada Stevens, Wayfinding Planner at TransLink
What I find fascinating about working in wayfinding is that this field encompasses three of my personal interests: graphic design, urban design and using transit to get around the city.
I am a lifelong transit user who has made the decision to use transit as my primary form of transportation. As a child, taking transit was my first introduction to independence in the city, and as an adult I see transit as being an affordable and environmentally sustainable alternative to car use.
From a young age, I have been curious about cities and how people use shared spaces and public amenities like parks, streets, and transit. I like to observe changes happening in the city and I try to understand how urban planners, elected officials, and community groups are transforming our cities to better serve the people who live in it.
This same curiosity extends into my profession. I’m fascinated in learning how our customers use and experience the transit network – where are they going, what transit services are they connecting to and what information they need to make that connection.
My career at TransLink began five years ago when I was hired as a graphic artist in TransLink’s wayfinding department. I was tasked with designing maps, signage, diagrams and other experiential graphics to help customers plan their journey and find their way through our region.
As my career developed, I grew to love working in the field of wayfinding because I was able to leverage my love of art and design and complement it with my passion for urbanism and transit.
Now a Wayfinding Planner at TransLink, I analyze changes in the transit system that could affect our customer’s day-to-day journey, like a change in a bus route or an upgrade to a SkyTrain station. I then work with a team of designers to create visually impactful wayfinding products like maps and diagrams that will help our customers navigate through the complex and changing transit system.
Since joining TransLink, I’ve worked on projects such as the opening of the six new stations as part of the Millennium Line Evergreen Extension, station upgrades at Main Street–Science World, Metrotown, Joyce–Collingwood and Surrey Central, and the implementation of “next train” information displays at SkyTrain stations.
Currently, we are working towards the launch of RapidBus in January. This will bring exciting new wayfinding amenities to our customers at RapidBus stops such as real-time bus arrival information, route line diagrams showing your next stop, and better accessibility features like on-demand audio announcements for those with visual impairments.
What I love most about my job is how important good wayfinding is to our customers.
I meet people every day who rely on TransLink to get them to work, school, or to explore a new neighbourhood. When people are able to find their bus stop, or connect to SkyTrain on the right platform, and complete a seamless journey through our region by transit, then I know I have been able to make a positive impact on people’s day-to-day lives. That’s the metric that I use to determine success as a Wayfinding Planner, and it’s a responsibility that I am proud to perform every day.