#ChangeBranding: York Region Transit

York Region is growing rapidly, adding pressure on the efforts of public service providers. In the midst of this rapid growth, York Region Transit (YRT) continues to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to customer service and satisfaction. Yet as YRT worked to meet the ever-changing needs of the city, the brand architecture struggled to adapt.

The challenge

YRT’s brand power was becoming decentralized among its growing list of services. With over 20 years’ experience in public transit advertising, Acart recognized an opportunity to re-adapt YRT’s brand architecture to meet the needs of a growing public transit provider.

The strategy

YRT was operating under a hybrid brand architecture model: YRT + viva. Our strategy? Shift from a hybrid brand architecture model to a branded house model. By reorganizing YRT’s brand architecture, YRT takes pride of place, reasserting itself as the main brand identity.

How we did it

We reduced confusion between the primary brand and its sub-brand identities through a logo refresh and the creation of new sub-brand logos.

We removed “Viva,” from the primary logo, and increased the type size and font thickness, thereby repositioning YRT as the master brand.

We created new sub-brand logos for various YRT services: local services, express services, viva, and on-demand services.

The new sub-brand logos help differentiate the various services under the YRT umbrella.

Because of a linguistically and educationally diverse audience, the logos needed to feel simple, familiar, and approachable. The chosen iconography and style were highly suited for the diverse York Region community.


With over 20 million annual rides, YRT connects more people to more experiences. We created a tagline – “More connected than ever” – that spoke to everyone, no matter where they’re going and how they’re getting there. Instead of focusing on what public transportation is, we focused on what it does: connecting people.

Through the use of creative and emotionally driven subheadings we were able to further personalize and educate audiences.

Media strategy

Audiences were introduced to the brand redesign online, on campus, in transit, and at the cinema. By switching from hybrid brand architecture to branded house architecture, we repositioned YRT as the master brand. We created a brand umbrella, with subsidiary services,  united by one common goal – connecting people.

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