Re-imagining the R-Line

They have to fund other projects, that would take up a lot of the sales tax funds.

Saw two go by me yesterday that were completely empty. They’re gonna hafta amp up efforts to get ridership and awareness up or it’s doomed, I’m afraid.

They have to stand out from the regular GORaleigh buses. Need to them wrap them. Go back to the old wrap or a new design

1 Like

In fairness, it just relaunched this week, and (if I’m not mistaken) weekends are usually its biggest draw. But yeah, they definitely need to start marketing the thing as soon as possible or it may not survive.

I’m seeing a lot of folks here echo your sentiment, but I respectfully disagree (to an extent). I think the unique branding made it seem like it was completely separate from the GoRaleigh system. I remember my first time riding a bus in the Triangle (and probably like my third time ever riding a city bus) was the old R-Line, and I only did it because a) I’d heard it was free and b) I thought it was “better” than the GoRaleigh buses (and I still had that “eww city buses are gross” mentality). I don’t think I actually set foot on a GoRaleigh or GoTriangle bus for at least another couple of years, so the R-Line did nothing to convince me to try other services. And, by the way, those old R-Line branded buses kind of sucked and were super dark inside thanks to the wraps covering the windows (boooo dots).

If money were no object, here’s what I’d rather see instead of wrapped buses:

  1. Develop an R-Line logo that is distinct, yet still consistent with and easily integrated into the “GO” branding.
  2. Upgrade all R-Line stops with small, high-quality shelters that feature that branding and are distinct from other GoRaleigh shelters (including those silly red ones). If you really want to get pricey, have the signage be fixed structures with lighting, kind of like the BRT signs.
  3. Add wayfinding throughout downtown and inside key locations like the convention center and Union Station. This should really be our number one priority regardless of whether or not we create a new R-Line brand, because it’s cheap, relatively permanent, and easy to spot regardless of how long you’ve been here.

I don’t imagine the city would want to do this considering that their primary focus in terms of bus service over the next few years is going to be BRT, but who knows. So, if we’re going to go the cheaper route and do wraps, center it around the GoRaleigh branding, kind of like what GoTriangle did with their “airplane bus” (but hopefully with better artwork… and no dots):

(Man, something about this forum makes me really prone to run-on sentences.)

8 Likes

From everyone’s comments, it seems a coordinated marketing effort would be helpful: inside and outside on parking decks, on the side of the bus, at hotels, banner signs, etc. Real-time arrival information would also be great (if that’s not already implemented). Perhaps even a time chart of time on the bus and time walking to different destinations.

I hope the R-Line is successful. I remember riding it for a First Friday a long while ago. Does anyone have photos of the r-line bus stops?

5 Likes