During this year’s Calgary Stampede, you’ll be seeing Calgary Transit ambassadors rocking a brand-new uniform.
Previously, Calgary Transit Ambassadors wore hi-vis vests, but this past April the City of Calgary sought out a new design that would be more friendly and identifiable for the transit ambassadors.
After receiving many design concepts from Calgarians across the city, Blake Cochlan, a local 21-year-old emerging artist who recently graduated from Alberta University of the Arts design was chosen for the vest rebrand.
His design has a track woven through the Calgary skyline.
For Cochlan, seeing his design across the city is a touch surreal.
“Having my stuff out in the real world this soon after graduating, it’s kind of crazy to me. It’s still kind of sinking in, just how many eyes are potentially gonna be on it. So, I was thrilled,” Cochlan said.
“I was hoping for it, but I wasn’t fully expecting to be chosen. I got the email while I was on a trip and I was just like kind of shocked for the day that I saw it.”
Amanda Bradley, communications lead with Calgary Transit, said they were thrilled to be able to work with a local artist.
“We chose Blake’s design because the way the LRT track weaves around the Calgary skyline symbolizes the connectivity that Transit fosters throughout the city,” said Bradley.
“We are thrilled to be able to showcase the work of such a talented local designer.”
Cochlan said he hopes that the city teaming up with independent artists becomes the norm.
“I hope that this design is out there for a while to come,” he said.
As for the design concept, Coclan took inspiration from different parts of the city.
“I had printing processes in mind for sure. I use limited shapes and color palettes to make it easier to actually produce in the real world,” Cochlan said.
“All of my versions had some form of Calgary landmarks in them… things you would see while you’re passing them on transit. Just to have that kind of Calgary pride in there, and then I have the kind of like the spiraling train tracks, to have a bit of fun and whimsy to it; to show that taking Calgary Transit can be a fun, enlightening kind of experience.”
Transit during Stampede
Transit safety in Calgary has been a hot issue for the past two years.
The city has gone to great lengths to address the growing concerns of Calgarians who claim they don’t feel safe taking public transit.
Having Calgary transit ambassadors throughout the transit system is another way the city hopes to improve the transit experience.
“The ambassadors are going to be out throughout the whole system, through all the 10 days of stampede, providing customer assistance, wayfinding, if there are any service disruptions they’ll help with planning for those as well, and just to providing that visual transit presence along the line,” Bradley said.
According to Bradley, there will be 26 transit ambassadors through the transit system. Having a visual presence was important to the city, especially during the Stampede.
“So, this is the first Stampede that we have ambassadors on the system,” Bradley said.
“From a customer perspective, it just shows that there is staff along the line, there is someone there to help them, there’s some more there’s someone there to assist them if they need it. They can also act as a deterrent to unpleasant activities.”
You can find transit information, routes, times, and more for at Calgarytransit.com.