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No more maroon? TTC set to ditch iconic uniforms

TTC bus driver Richard Smith announces the stops on the Finch Avenue West bus route in Toronto, Jan. 28, 2008.

Jim Ross/The Globe and Mail

The end of the line is approaching for the Toronto Transit Commission's iconic maroon uniforms, the agency's chief executive officer says.

Andy Byford told The Globe and Mail's editorial board that his chief customer service officer has begun consulting with a group of employees about a fresh outfit for drivers and collectors that would be "symbolic of a new approach."

He hopes a more modern uniform would command more respect.

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"I think it's safe to say it [the new uniform] won't be maroon," Mr. Byford said.

About 5,000 TTC workers sport the official uniforms, which were last redesigned in the early 1990s, according to TTC spokesman Brad Ross.

The supplier's contract comes up in 2013 and 2014, making now the right moment for a redesign, he added.

The uniforms would be replaced piece by piece as employees wear out their slacks, shirts, coats, ties and hats. Mr. Ross said it was too early to say whether a new design would increase the cost of replacement duds.

It is also too early to say what colour the new uniforms will be. But Mr. Byford has a hunch: "I think it's more likely to be blue, probably."

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Kelly Grant is a health reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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