Anyone whose taken public transit knows that those little newsstands inside TTC stations can be a lifesaver if you’re in a hurry, but they don’t offer much beyond the most basic items, and they haven’t changed a whole lot since the 1980s.
Now the TTC is looking to switch it up and expand and diversify its shops and stalls over the next few years.
Mainstay retailers like Gateway Newstands generate a decent chunk of change for the Commission — about $ 5.1 million annually — while a new report recommends looking into squeezing more out of the market potential by changing up retail options across the board.
The new Market Shops network is part of the TTC’s overall strategy to revamp retail inside the stations. It includes suggestions like short-term retail operations such as food trucks, pop-ups, sampling services, click & collect services, virtual stores, and automated retailers.
The TTC hopes that all of this new fangled retail technology will make for a much better customer experience, specifically with the introduction of WiFi to enable people to do their shopping en-route throughout the day.
It’s also made upgrading existing retail spaces a priority, and promises that any new ones will improve accessibility and bring a community feel to the stations.
The idea is to modernize how we experience transit in the city and improve “the way retail is procured and managed,” while “enhancing the type of retail, range of services and merchandise” that’s already available.
A few suggestions of what I would like to see inside the stations are as follows: a puppy petting station, a puppy cuddling corner, and a puppy playing area. I would even pay an entrance fee that could be put towards capital investments.
Pending approval from the board when it determines its budget for next year, transit users could start seeing some changes as early as 2019.