The triumph of style over substance
Photo by Carl Spencer
This photo is of a regular transit bus operating in York, England. I do not know why it was painted like this but I am prepared to speculate. It was someone in the marketing department who thought that this bus (which is designed to look as much as possible like the latest generation of rapid transit rail vehicles) needed to be made even more “cool” to appeal to the target ‘yoof’ demographic. The sort of people who like graffiti, who think that “the bus sucks”. I can hear now the presentation made by the designer to the marketing committee, banging on about how this will increase ridership by upgrading the image of the service.
Note that the bus is running in mixed traffic. What transit needs is more transit priority. The best image improvement I can think of is that the drivers stuck in the traffic jam see the fast frequent bus service swishing by them, as they drum their fingers on the steering wheel in frustration.
If there is money to be spent on tarting up buses, don’t waste it painting the outside in fancy schemes. Make the inside better. Cleaner, more comfortable. More and better seats, that have no rips or tears – and definitely no duct tape (which seems to be all that holds the CMBC bus seats together). Safe stowage for impedimenta of all kinds. Lights that come on when it gets dark outside. Windows that are so clean you can actually see where you are at all times. Air Conditioning so the windows do not steam up when it rains. That kind of basic amenity.