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Transit Logos From The West

Continuing on yesterday's post, as we drove along I wondered a lot about public transportation in the cities we passed through. Especially on the way out of San Francisco with the insane traffic that made me so jittery and wondering why the heck people would commute like that every day. Below are the logos and links to different transit options in cities we passed.

I like the MUNI logo: visually interesting and screams transit in a good way. I like TART because it's funny. Think about it. I actually like the silhouette illustration on top but the typography, not so much. And finally Boulder's CTN identity: I like the idea behind it, I think it's well executed, and I'm gonna' learn to ride it next year so I better start liking it all. I especially like The Dash because if the very cute fox illustration. Hi, I'm girly. The buses in Boulder are nice because they are all painted with the illustrations, it livens up the scenery.

Other than that, let's just say it's a good thing I'm headed west because some of these options could use a face lift. Maybe with a color besides blue?

San Francisco, CA's MUNI

San Francisco, CA's BART: Bay Area Rapid Transit

Healdsburg, CA: Headsburg Transit

Yolo County, CA including Sacramento: Yolobus

Sacramento, CA: Regional Transit and information here on transit around Davis plus information on Sacramento's Transport Management Association

TART: Tahoe Area Regional Transit (only $1.50 to ride the TART! Inappropriate? Sorry...)

Reno, NV's RTC: Regional Transportation Commission of Wahoe County, Neveda

Salt Lake City, UT's UTA: Utah Transit Authority

Cheyenne, WY: City Bus and here is a link to the Wyoming Public Transit Association

Fort Collins, CO: Transfort

Boulder, CO's RTD: Regional Transportation District serving Denver, Boulder and other surrounding areas

Boulder, CO's CTN: Community Transit Network (click picture to enlarge) along with information on GO Boulder and an interactive transportation information system map

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting post!

To me, transit logos are always interesting (of course), and they are also very important in terms of establishing a system's identity and "presence".

The BART logo is a classic, as is Muni's (if a little dated, I think). Golden Gate Transit's (Marin County and points north from San Francisco) logo is another Bay Area classic.

To me, the best logos are those that adapt themselves well to being the visual "cue" for the system. Healdsburg's - awful. UTA's - better; it can be put at the top of bus stop poles, on shelters, on light rail stations, et cetera and it says to the passerby "here be transit" (even if it looks suspiciously like the granddaddy of all instantly identifiable transit logos - London's).

Back east, the best example of a great system logo/identity program is actually Boston's. When you see a black "T" in a white circle, you know it means transit; the "T" - couldn't be simpler. Washington Metro's plain white "M" on top of all the station entrance poles is also pretty easy to spot on a busy street and people know that it marks a Metro entrance. But Metro is not good at translating that design identity onto the bus system.

The most comprehensive public transit system in North America - the New York City metropolitan area's - has several operators (like the Bay Area), but the dominant one is the MTA, whose "meatball" logo, in my opinion, is awful. Luckily, transit is so ubiquitous here in the Big Apple that it's relatively east to spot. In a very funny "design twist", so to speak, the subway system's identity has instead become very closely associated with the individual route logos - "A" in a blue circle, "7" in a purple circle, et cetera - so that the lack of a good MTA design program is sort of offset by the fact that when people see these route identifiers it screams "subway" at them. (In fact, it says "New York City" subway more than anything - they are so popular that the logos are sold on tee-shirts which lots of people wear as a sort of "badge" of their home neighborhood and the line that serves it.)

Anyway - great post - I liked it!