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Name that brand! How do you color AC Transit’s bus rapid transit?

By dcuff
Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 at 12:33 pm in AC Transit, Buses, parking.

AC Transit bus by Flickr user allaboutgeorge under Creative Commons licenseThe AC Transit Board this evening will consider taking another step forward with their plan for bus rapid transit in parts of Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro.

Although an environmental impact report on the project is not yet finished, AC Transit managers recommend the board put out a request for proposal for between $175,000 and $250,000 in contract work to develop a brand identity — including a name, logo, decals, and color scheme for buses — for the project and its vehicles, stations and bus stops.

AC needs a “brand” in order to quality for federal “small starts” grants for the bus rapid transit project, according to a report by AC managers.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m in the second floor meeting room of AC Transit headquarters, 1600 Franklin St., Oakland. AC Transit managers also will provide a briefing on the status of the bus rapid transit plan and schedule.

The idea of bus rapid transit is to run buses on dedicated bus lanes on streets to avoid car traffic, speeding up bus service without investing in expensive new rail systems.

Bus rapid transit is a hot discussion item in the public transit field. Supporters call it a smart way to move more passengers faster and reduce pollution and congestion. But critics – including some Berkeley neighborhood groups – oppose AC Transit’s plan because they don’t want to a reduction in street parking spaces when the bus only lanes are built.

If AC approves the bus rapid transit project, construction would start in 2012.

If you have ideas or suggestions on the brand and you can’t make it to the meeting, post your suggestions below.

Picture of AC Transit bus by Flickr user allaboutgeorge under Creative Commons license

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2 Responses to “Name that brand! How do you color AC Transit’s bus rapid transit?”

  1. Mike Says:

    Wait, AC Transit has to spend up to $250K for a “brand” to qualify for federal funding? This is why people have government so much. That $250K won’t help one bit in getting people where they need to be faster.

  2. former Capricious Commuter Says:

    How about we call it “BART Rapid Transit?”

    I agree with Mike that this sort of expenditure is another reason people don’t trust the government with their money. Just like when a certain AC Transit executive got caught wearing a hotel robe on the Left Bank of the Seine River paid for by the quarters of janitors and food-service workers.

    On the other hand $250,000 in the transit arena isn’t a huge sum and marketing isn’t cheap. You need to market these services so that, like, um, people use them. With gas prices back down, transit will need lots of marketing.

    And I may be half a world away, but I might hazard that with the new economy and 8% unemployment, maybe what AC Transit really needs to do is run more neighborhood routes to places where car ownership is low. Trying to attract drivers with oxymoronic “rapid bus” service seems at this point in history to be a waste of $250,000.

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