Toronto's First Ever Experiment with
Electronic Destination Signs
This transcribed article was originally published in the TTC Magazine newsletter.
It explains the first ever experiment with using flipdot electronic destination signs
on their buses. It is undated but is likely from sometime in the late 1970s.


An original scan of this TTC Magazine article was donated from an anonymous source.
(Original print date unknown.) The image from the article was taken from the scan provided.
New Destination Sign at His Finger-tips
Making a change in the destination sign on a bus required the Driver to literally
get off his seat. Not so in 3949.

This bus has a new finger control device. It is equipped with an Illuminator
Automatic and Electronic Bus Destination Sign System or IAEBDSS (the long and
the short of it).

By depressing two digits, the Driver can come up with a sign of his choice out of
the possible 336 three-line selections. Another plus factor in its favor is the
Emergency Distress Alarm Sign - Emergency, Please Call Police.

Number 3949 is the only one of its kind in the TTC to feature this device, which is
a production prototype on trial runs by ten top transit properties in North America.

The merits of the system are being evaluated for passenger attitude and/or an
operational and maintenance standpoint.
(Right)  Destination
at his fingertips...
Driver Richard
Nicholson selects
destination sign,
using new push-
button control unit.
(Above) Toronto Transit Commission 1966 built GMC TDH-5303 #3949,
picked to be the test bus for this experimental electronic destination
sign system, is seen at Wilson Bus Garage near Wilson Avenue and the
W.R.Allen Expressway in North York in September of 1977. (Image from
an eBay post, shared publicly on Facebook. Photographer unknown.)