As you all know, whoever runs the TransLink card program has announced that TransLink needs a new, sexy name. They’re rolling it out for this summer. On this point I agree — we WANT more people to be aware of and use public mass transit, versus private car mass transit, although 95% of people seem to be against the new name, to date. Too bad for them 😛
All of these people are hating on the new name of “Clipper” and some urban design/policy nerds want the old name (okay, write it on your new Clipper card then with a Sharpie!), while some folks are calling for a new name.
So, my initial reaction was knee-jerk and also like these focus groupers who heave dry heave. “Ew, gross!” But I did think: sounds like V-chip’s brother, something to cut off your opponent’s balls with” and so on. But that’s normal when you have a change “foisted” upon you which YOU didn’t think up yourself. People like change, just not changes other people make for them.
So here’s why I like the name.
- deep well of available imagery: clipper ships, mermaids, ocean travel, bay harbor, kelp, swarthy men, billy budd, the white whale… (like HK’s octopus)
- fun to say, like snapple or oreo or google (like HK’s octopus)
- can easily be made into a JOKE, which makes it all the more memorable (and thus used) “hey watch out with that taser! it’s not a taser it’s a clipper.” (like HK’s octopus)
Would I have come up with it? Probably not.
Poor MTC, they actually managed to accomplish something GOOD when not planning for the fifteenth time how to screw over East Bay residents again with various BART evilness. I wonder which cubicle farm generated this idea?
Do you guys out there hating on the new name NOT KNOW that private auto selling companies spend more on their ADVERTISING BUDGETS than public transit agencies spend in TOTAL every year in the US?
The ONLY thing I can think of that I don’t like is that the clipper theme will disproportionately benefit tourist-fishing San Francisco to the expense of all other Bay Area cities. But hey, they’re the richest and most populace so what the hell.
Other people may not “cotton to” the Clipper ship being the vehicle of corporate globalization and British world-wide imperialism back in the pre-globalization days, but whatever. Every empire has its day.
Wake up, support the new name or post a better one here. I will be judge/jury/executioner of names. 😄