In systems-design there is an old, wise acronym: KISS -- Keep It Simple, Stupid. To that, I like to add KID -- Keep It Direct. And one of my favourite quotations for all aspects of design comes from an American designer, Saul Bass, who said, 'Design is thinking made visible. '
Signs, particularly signs for roads, should convey information concisely and speedily, real information, not worthless garbage.
The new codes designated by AT for the island's revamped bus-routes have been advertised as 50A, 50B, 502, 503, 504. There is no logical structure is that, no connection to the real world, and no thinking worthy of the name.
First, is that fiftyA, fifty2, etc., or five-hundred-and-A, five-hundred-and-two, etc.? And why 50 or 500 as prefixes? There are not 50 or 500 variations on the final destinations on the island and therefore not on the routes.
At the moment there are only two final destinations: Onetangi, which has long been Route 1 (very logical: One-tangi), and Rocky Bay, Route 2 (two words, again very logical). The new scheme adds one more final destination: Oneroa--for the new shuttles to and from the two ferries. Therefore, logic and reality and familiarity dictate Route 1 and Route 2, and adding Route 3 for the new shuttles. Route 3 is to have two variations, to Matiatia and Kennedy Point, and thus, logically, it should be 3M and 3K. Onetangi is to have two or three variations, going to The Strand or Waiheke Road and thus in simple logic becomes 1S, 1W, etc.
That is all firmly fixed to logic and the real world. It is eminently simple, it does not clutter bus-signs or timetables, it is easy to communicate to foreign visitors, even in hand-signs. And it keeps what is familiar; it does not throw it away to satisfy some bureaucratic whim.
Codes are not needed in an ideal system, but if they are used they should always be meaningful. Every character should give information, useful information. That 50A, 50B, 502, 503, 504 scheme fails that test. Remove the '50' and no information is lost. But remove any character from 1, 2, 3, 3M, 3K, and useful information is lost.
And from a distance, with less than good eyesight, 50A and 504 look similar on the front of a bus, as do 50B and 503. All you want to know when you see a bus coming is is it the one I want. That '50-something' nonsensical trash tells you nothing.
1, 1S, 1W, 2, 3M, 3K pass the KISS KID test. AT's damnably silly setup fails it dismally. It is ridiculous, and deserves to be laughed at by everyone on the planet.
In the study of logic a term is used that is also used in mathematics: IFF. IFF is an abbreviation for 'If, if, and only if.' The fundamental dictum in logic is 'IFF the premise is true and the reasoning is true the conclusion must be true.' Or, as it can also be stated, in reverse, 'IFF the premise is false or the reasoning is false the conclusion will always be false, it cannot possibly be true.' All that can be put more simply: 'Unless you start with the truth and proceed by the way of truth you cannot possibly arrive at anything true.' AT has repeatedly proved by what it arrived at that it did not start with the truth or proceed by the way of truth. It ignored the fundamentals of good service. And it did it all on ratepayers' money. It is therefore chronically guilty of fundamentally bad service and public thievery.