Transport for Greater Manchester has sought to explain its branding process after receiving fierce criticism for the decision to call its new smart ticket card ‘My Get Me There’.
The transport body today unveiled the much-anticipated name for its new system, which many had expected to be catchy or in some way relevant to the city, similar to Liverpool’s Walrus or London’s Oyster cards.
But the reaction to ‘My Get Me There’ has so far been largely negative. Writing on Twitter, Jonathan Fisher said: “My Get Me There? How did that get off the whiteboard into a product? How did it even leave someone’s brain?”
Mike Stephens was another disapproving voice: “Please, can we start on online petition to change the name of the ‘My Get Me There’ card… Ridiculous.” Many others have commented on the name in similarly disparaging tones.
Transport for Greater Manchester worked alongside Manchester design and marketing agency Hemisphere, promotional agency Marketing Manchester and well-known designer Peter Saville to come up with the new ticket brand.
And while admitting that “having the right name” was vital, it said that My Get Me There was the one that “best fitted” the scheme, which it stressed was not just limited to a card.
A spokesperson said: “Marketing our smart ticket scheme – getting the product right and persuading people to use it – is vital to its success. Having the right name for the scheme – one that helps people understand what it does and how it works, will be critical to how many people choose to use it.
“We have used in-house expertise and additional specialists to arrive at a solution that will give this major new customer offer the best chance of success.
“In devising the name for the scheme, we have researched other schemes around the world and taken soundings from staff, customers and stakeholders, assessing the many names proposed by the general public. Having evaluated these against the criteria for the scheme, get me there was chosen as the name which best fitted the vision for the scheme.
“The Greater Manchester scheme will be more than just a card. It is interesting to note that with the transition that London is starting to make to contactless bank cards, they are now actively referring to the scheme as ‘Oyster Smart’ to acknowledge the changing influence of new technology and devices.”
Coun Andrew Fender, chairman of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, claimed the scheme would ‘revolutionise’ how travellers in the area used transport.
He said: “With more than 30 independent, commercial bus operators, a tram network and several inter-regional rail operators running public transport services across and into the region, our smart ticketing scheme will be one of the most advanced of its type in the world.
“But we want it to be as simple as possible for people at the point of use – hence a name that ‘says what it does on the tin’.
“People will have a variety of ways to use get me there and that’s why our focus is about what the system can do for you, rather than the name of a single card.
“Yes, there will be a dedicated card – called my get me there – for the scheme, but people with an existing TfGM-issued concessionary photo card, such as an igo or a national concessionary scheme card, will be able to use these cards instead.”
He added: “London may have its Oyster and Liverpool its Walrus, but we like to embrace the challenge of doing things differently here, which is why we have chosen a different kind of name with ‘Get Me There’.
“We knew that people would expect our scheme to be like Oyster, but both life and technology have moved on since its introduction.”
An introduction to the new name can be seen below: