Blue and green colour schemes are the official brand colours of the Vancouver Canucks, the City of Vancouver, and soon a highly-used TransLink service.
A complete branding overhaul is being performed on TransLink’s new B-Line services, and it coincides with next year’s launch of four new B-Line routes.
In recent weeks, the public transit authority’s newest orders of the three-door articulated buses have been rolling into bus depots with a new, eye-popping blue and green livery design — a departure from the existing black, blue, grey, and yellow livery design on most of the existing articulated buses.
Photos posted online of the new design also show ‘Rapid Bus’ text printed on the buses, which suggests an abandonment of the B-Line name that was first introduced in the late-1990s. The name ‘B-Line’ does not appear anywhere on the bus.
“This is about improving the customer experience,” Chris Bryan, a spokesperson for TransLink, told Daily Hive. “Not only are we delivering four new B-Lines as part of the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision, we’re making it easier for customers to distinguish the B-Lines from the rest of our bus fleet by giving them a new colour scheme.”
Current B-Line design
New B-Line design, with ‘Rapid Bus’ name
More details on the rebranding and new and improved B-Line services will be made over the coming months. TransLink made public its intentions to rebrand the B-Line earlier this year during the public consultation phase for the new routes.
In addition to the existing 99 UBC/Commercial-Broadway, 96 Surrey Guildford/Newton, and 95 SFU/Burrard Station routes, there will be four additional B-Line routes by the end of 2019 on 41st Avenue in Vancouver (Joyce-Collingwood Station to UBC), North Shore (Dundarave in West Vancouver to Phibbs Exchange in North Vancouver), Fraser Highway (Surrey Central Station to Langley Centre), and Lougheed Highway (Coquitlam Central Station to Haney Place).
All of these routes will use articulated buses that have enhanced features such as free onboard Wi-Fi, dynamic onboard wayfinding, and line diagrams.
Bus stops for the services will be distinguished by new special bus shelters with real-time information screens displaying the current time and time of arrival of the next buses, and accessibility elements such as yellow tactile pads — similar to the edges of the SkyTrain platforms.
But what will really make these bus services ‘rapid’ will be the implementation of extensive traffic signal priority, bus-only lanes, and queue-jumping lanes. The extent of the actual implementation of these measures remains to be seen.
Earlier this month during his annual address to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond emphasized that municipal governments across the region need to cooperate with the public transit authority to help make the buses — specifically the new B-Line routes — move quickly.
“We’re working very closely in a new collaboration partnership with our cities on our B-Line. The cities maintain and operate the right-of-way we operate on, and we need the cities to help us make our buses move faster and more reliably,” said Desmond. “We’re doing that, and my hat is off to the jurisdictions to help us make that happen.”
As many as six additional B-Line routes could be introduced in the early-2020s as part of the future phases of regional transit expansion. This includes services for the Lions Gate Bridge (downtown to Lynn Valley), Victoria Drive (downtown to Marine Drive), Ironworkers Bridge-Willingdon Avenue (Phibbs Exchange to Metrotown), Richmond-Metrotown (Bridgeport Station to Metrotown Station), 120 Street-White Rock (Scott Road Station to White Rock), and Coquitlam-Langley (Coquitlam Central Station to Langley Centra via Pitt River Bridge and the Golden Ears Bridge).