Tahoe transit: Truckee, Placer Co. spending over $100K for brand upgrade | SierraSun.com

Tahoe transit: Truckee, Placer Co. spending over $100K for brand upgrade

During the 2013 winter, a TART bus pulls over at an Incline Village stop so a waiting passenger can board.
Margaret Moran / Sierra Sun |

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Starting this winter, North Tahoe and Truckee public transit vehicles will feature a new coordinated look as part of a more than $100,000 joint effort to promote an image of interconnected transportation.

Tahoe Area Regional Transit and Truckee Transit will become a single unified brand called “Tahoe-Truckee Area Regional Transit” (TART), with vehicles featuring the same color scheme and logo.

“(Today) there are multiple logos and brands representing different segments of regional transit,” said Will Garner, transit manager for Placer County. “ … It can be a little disorienting. We think with this branding it will be easy to understand the service and will lead to more use of the service.”

Placer County buses featuring the new TART brand and logo — a T with a swoosh set in a circle background — should hit area roadways in mid-January 2016, Garner said.

Meanwhile, the town of Truckee will start rolling out rebranded vehicles likely in the beginning of February, said Kelly Beede, who primarily oversees and manages the town’s public transit service.

Ultimately, 10 Placer County buses will feature the new look, being phased mainly during January and February 2016, Garner said.


A few older buses in the county’s fleet will keep the previous brand and logo for North Tahoe public transportation — Tahoe Area Regional Transit (also known as TART), and a sailboat with a wave, respectively — since it would not be cost effective to paint them when they are scheduled for upcoming replacement, he said.

They will not be used often, serving as backup vehicles in the event that a bus is out of commission due to undergoing maintenance or repair.

Whereas in Truckee, the town’s five-bus fleet is anticipated to be replaced with the new look within the next year, Beede said.

Truckee’s fixed route vehicles will be replaced first, followed by new Dial-A-Ride vehicles becoming operational within six to eight months, with a backup bus obtained in 12 months, she said Wednesday.

Truckee’s Donner Summit Shuttle and the North Tahoe/Truckee Transport will sport the unified brand, along with the Placer County-operated North Tahoe Ski Shuttle and Night Rider bus.

“To see (this single brand) consistently and repeatedly throughout the region, it’s going to help emphasize to the public that it’s a coordinated and accountable transit system throughout the region,” Garner said.

Beyond the vehicles, bus stop signs, printed material such as schedule brochures and associated websites will also feature the new TART brand and logo, he said.


Creating a single brand arose from the region’s first Transportation Summit in 2012, when officials, community members and experts discussed options to improve public transit in the North Tahoe-Truckee Resort Triangle.

Development began in June 2014, and was a joint effort by Reno-based design consultant Fallon Multimedia and a regional stakeholder committee.

Throughout the process, committee workshops were held, brand pillars were identified and an informal regional market research survey was conducted.

From that it was decided to retain the TART brand, due to it being a recognizable name in the community that’s associated with bus service.

Both the Placer County Board of Supervisors and Truckee Town Council approved the new brand and logo earlier this year.

Cost to implement the branding effort for Placer County is estimated at $80,000 — with the branding consultant costing $15,000, painting of existing buses at $60,000, and replacing bus stop signs for $5,000, Garner said.

Funding is coming from collected Placer County Transient Occupancy Tax dollars, he said.

Truckee’s implementation expense is an estimated $27,000, with $20,000 for bus branding, $5,000 for the purchase and installation of new bus stop signs, and $2,000 for educational outreach and marketing, Beede said.

Awarded federal and state grant funds will cover those expenses, she said.

“It’s always important to collaborate as a region to bring these great transit services to our communities,” Beede said.

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