Only The TTC Can Confuse People By Trying To Not Confuse Them

So the Downsview subway station has been renamed Sheppard West. We don’t want people to become hopelessly lost an unsure of where they are by having two consecutive stations on the same line with similar names, now do we?

London Underground 'Acton' StationsOnly people in “world class” cities can handle that, though we keep saying we are “world class”. The good folks in London UK have to contend with not two, but THREE consecutive stations on the Central Line: West Acton, North Acton, and East Acton (the Central Line is the red line in the image to the right). I won’t mention that there are another three stations on other lines with “Acton” in the name that are nearby the Central Line three, nor will I mention that people on a westbound Central Line train at North Acton might be going next to West Acton or they might be going next to Hanger Lane. This is just one of many examples of this in London.

That said, the idea of renaming Downsview to Sheppard West is not new. This was decided several years ago. At the time, I was in favour of the idea, but thought it should be done then so that people could be used to the change well before the new Downsview Park station opens.

The TTC avoids reusing bus route numbers for this very reason.

So, under the premise of not wanting to confuse people, what has the TTC gone and done? They are renaming an existing subway station a mere six to eight months ahead of opening an extension that has a Downsview Park station. Many average users of the TTC (read: not transit enthusiasts) will still be flustered over the “Sheppard West, formerly Downsview” change right when Downsview Park starts appearing around them.

For what ever reason, the TTC could not make the change at a time when it would be a distant memory in today’s minds. Instead, they wait until the new extension will come right when people are still trying to get used to the change intended to save them confusion.

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