New Look Coming for CAT Buses

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Look out Triangle residents — Go Transit is coming soon to a bus stop near you.

CAT buses will soon be sporting a new look

CAT buses will soon be sporting a new look

At the most recent City Council meeting, David Eatman, Transit Administrator, presented information on a transition within the Triangle two years in the making. He harped on the history of poor collaboration within the transit systems of the Triangle, spelled out the problem, and gave an update on the proposed solution.

“We want to provide family services that work together to provide seamless transportation service throughout the Triangle,” he said that afternoon.

Go Transit will lift the curtain and showcase its newly painted buses earliest “around the New Year and hopefully not too far afterward,” said David Eatman in an interview with the Record.

GObusesThe coloring and painting of the buses will highlight a unified approach to transit throughout the Triangle, from Raleigh to Durham, from Chapel Hill to Cary. While routes will not change and even the uniforms of employees will transition over time to reflect the change, the unified marketing and branding approach will emphasize that there is “one entity working together across the Triangle,” Eatman said.

“Everyone was wondering how this might work,” Eatman said. “Everyone has pride and ownership in their district and we wanted to retain that.”

Within the generalized color scheme, buses within a particular district will have a specific color that symbolizes that district. The color scheme has variation but unity, representative of five districts that share a website and call center but have their own individual identities.

Outside of the painting of the actual buses, challenges remain for the departments overseeing this change. The immediate challenge, according to Eastman, is “to make sure we communicate [the change] effectively with employees, patrons, and the public.”

While he said that the actual nuts-and-bolts of communicating this to different groups are still in the works, he noted there is a new website being developed to reflect the changes. They’ve also spoken with stakeholders across the Triangle and conducted rider surveys to gauge reaction about the changes.

Of the changes themselves, Eatman said they would occur gradually rather than all at once, enabling smart financial decisions regarding the cost of painting buses and ordering new uniforms in particular.

“What we would like to have is a phased-approach,” he said.

When new buses are to be ordered, they will have the new logo and paint-scheme on them. New uniforms will be ordered once the old ones wear out. Overnight change, he said, is not realistic.

“Take the schedules,” he said. “We’re not going to throw out a bunch of paper just because they don’t have the new logo on them. We’re going to do this in a way as to make smart financial decisions.”

As for any specific information the public should know about, Eatman said, “Stay tuned. We are really excited at the staff level about this.”

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