In previous years, every bus and eetcarstray stop in the city had its own phone number. (In practice, some adjacent stops shared a number.) An automated voice (a human recording) would announce “Route… 501. Queen. Next vehicle in… 5 minutes. Following vehicle in… 13 minutes,” that sort of thing. Later, advertisements were embedded: “Pizza Pizza time is 6:38.” (Isn’t it always time for “tantilizing” Pizza Pizza?) At the time, virtually the entire 539-XXXX exchange was taken over for this purpose. (It was always odd to meet someone with a 539 phone number.)

The system was eventually shut down because it was not Y2K-compatible. Additionally, eating up the better part of 10,000 combinations contributed to number exhaust, which to this day is nothing remotely the problem we were warned it would be. (Rather like Y2K, but for different reasons.) Trust me, the online schedules are a flat-out disaster. There is no easy way to check a schedule anymore.

So: Quelle surprise to run across a bus stop with this cœlecanth of a decal still attached. Yes, the fonts are Souvenir and Quorum.

Decal reads ‘This TTC stop has a phone number. 539-1699. TTC’s TimeLine will tell you when the next transit vehicle is scheduled to arrive at this stop’

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2004.08.15 18:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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