Wayfinding

The National Resource for Transit Wayfinding is an initiative of the CUTA Customer Orientation Task Force. It was developed in order to provide guidance on planning high quality wayfinding for Canadian transit systems of any size and complexity. 

About Wayfinding

Wayfinding is the process of planning and executing a journey. In a built environment, people follow walkways and orient themselves to visible landmarks, but because of the complexity and distances in urbanized areas, the task of wayfinding is supported by signs, maps, and other graphically presented information. The CUTA Resources for Transit Wayfinding refers to these supports as wayfinding materials or wayfinding products.

Transit systems are complex systems to navigate, and lack of sufficient wayfinding support can be a barrier to use. People must understand the coverage area of the transit network, the linear trajectory of individual routes or lines, the locations they are able to board and alight, and the times that the individual services operate. At interchange points, they need to be able to navigate from one service to another, sometimes through large station buildings or sizeable groups of transit stops. Good wayfinding materials make this trip easier, and make transit a more appealing choice of travel mode. 

What's Included in this Resource

The CUTA Resources for Transit Wayfinding (PDF) is designed to provide general wayfinding guidance at a level that is common to all transit agencies. Agencies can use this information to apply this Resource to plan effective wayfinding for their specific facilities and needs.

The document starts at the highest level, which is an orientation to what wayfinding is, and the principles of good wayfinding. It then identifies the considerations of information planning, grouped by the four basic types of infrastructure that passengers may pass through as part of their transit journey: transit vehicles, stops, exchanges, and stations. For each of these four, a breakdown is provided of the different types of information customers require, and the location that it should be provided. Finally, it identifies tips for successful implementation, identifying key stakeholders who should be involved, and issues that should be considered for the outset.