John Devney

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - australasia, place - north america, planning - signage/information, planning - promotion


branded bus services, signage, image, increase awareness


Branded bus services have been implemented in many cities to make the bus network more legible, to improve the image of bus transit and to increase the awareness of bus services for greater patronage. Branded bus services have been classified into three broad categories for local or CBD shuttles, radial routes to the CBD from suburban areas and orbital or crosstown connector routes. The key attributes of these types of branded bus services, such as the vehicle livery, route design, service frequency, infrastructure, signage, information and promotion, are examined with examples from cities in Australia, New Zealand and North America. The recent experience with branded bus services in various major cities was investigated and described, including examples from Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Vancouver and York Region in Canada, and Washington, DC and Los Angeles, California in the USA. A basic assessment method with criteria under the headings of branding image and livery, route legibility, service frequency, infrastructure and information was used to rate the quality of these branded bus routes. Based on this evaluation, the factors that make a successful branded bus route are identified and discussed. Guidelines for implementing high quality branded bus services are proposed. Branded bus routes must be planned carefully with the objective of creating a more simplified and legible network. A critical element for success is to keep the branding concept simple to make it easy for the public to recognise and understand.