The Triangle’s bus systems are set to get simpler – at least in name.
No longer will a trip from Durham to Raleigh involve potential legs on the DATA, TTA and CAT systems. Instead, several local systems will unite under a single brand: “Go.”
The Raleigh City Council approved the move on Tuesday afternoon, beginning the transition from Capital Area Transit to Go Raleigh. Durham has approved a similar move, to Go Durham, while Triangle Transit will become Go Triangle, according to city staff.
The town of Cary is waiting to see what everyone else does before taking action on its own system, C-TRAN, according to Raleigh staff, while Chapel Hill’s Town Council hasn’t yet considered the issue.
“What’s the problem today? We have five distinct systems,” said David Eatman, transit administrator for Raleigh.
And while those five systems share a few elements in their paint jobs – like big swooshes and curvy lines – they have very different colors and overall designs. That has to change, according to Eatman, if passengers are going to see the various municipalities’ buses for the interconnected system they really want to be.
With that in mind, transit staff across the Triangle have been working on the grand unification proposal for two years, surveying about 1,000 riders and interviewing people from all ends of the bus routes.
This isn’t the first time the governments’ transit systems have gotten cozier. United by Triangle Transit, they offer shared marketing and informational apps, and they try to keep their fare hikes in sync.
The combination of the services’ branding will happen only slowly, though. Raleigh plans to apply the new paint jobs only as it gets new buses, or as needed.
In fact, Raleigh Transit held off on painting a recent purchase of 11 buses, figuring the new paint jobs would be approved soon.
“So if you see some white buses running around Raleigh, that’s what occurred,” Eatman told the council. The new paint jobs could be applied in less than two months, he said.