What would it look like if a half-dozen independent bus services located in a major metropolitan city decided to consolidate their stops, schedules, and routes and clearly and concisely communicate this new combined offering to existing and prospective transit customers? The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), an organization that provides transit planning and coordination services for regional transit authorities and operates in conjunction with local, state, and federal governments, was tasked with finding a design firm to take on this challenge.
The engagement began with a multi-day inventory of existing bus stops and shelters, including an assessment of information media types, commuter behavior, and the unique contexts for each stop. The final deliverable comprises an exhaustive GIS inventory that will allow for long-term maintenance of all transit assets as well as a tiered form factor and information design solution for service, stop, and schedule information.
Throughout the process the design team routinely and deliberately vetted and catalogued feedback from representatives of each transit agency as well as other key stakeholders including advocates for the visually and physically disabled. The graphic vocabulary of fonts, colors, and materials was selected based on legibility, functionality, and durability. The form factor itself mimics a standing figure hailing a bus, with the iconic bus symbol as the simple unifying device for all agencies. The goal of the engagement is a system-wide implementation that supports the ARC’s vision for transit expansion.