Cobb transit to get a new look

Cobb Community Transit is getting a new look, which they hope will lead to new riders.

The county’s transit service, which will be replacing its fleet of 105 buses over the next two years, will ask the county commission to approve the new look and name later this month, to coincide with the first order of 35 replacement buses that will arrive next year.

The new name Cobb LINC will be used on buses, along with a new cloverleaf logo that spells out the county’s name. Under LINC will be the various types of bus service — Lift for para-transit; Direct for express routes; Local for regular service beginning or ending at a transfer center; and Circulator for the new shuttle bus around the Cumberland area.

Mart Martin, with the public relations firm Jackson Spalding, presented the results of the county’s $330,000 re-branding project to commissioners last month. He said the new look will put transit on people’s “radar” and improve public perception about mass transit.

“When people see the new brand, they’ll realize there’s something new about Cobb Community Transit,” Martin said. “Once they learn more, what you want them to do is give it a try.”

Martin said most people think of branding with consumer goods. But he said it is just as important in transportation.

“A brand is a product or service with the right words so people know clearly what it is,” Martin said. Transportation service needs a brand because it’s “known for something” and the brand will “differentiate it from other transportation options.”

One downside to the re-branding is a loss of about $80,000 a year in advertising revenue. The county will not continue to wrap advertising around the buses because that would detract from the new logos.

Cobb DOT Director Faye DiMassimo said the system could make up some of that money by expanding advertising at bus stops and transfer centers, some of which will also be revamped.

Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents southern Cobb, is an advocate of bus service and said she likes the new look.

“I’m impressed with the level of creativity used,” Cupid said. “It helps to show a forward shift in how people view transit.”

The re-branding effort is in conjunction with Cobb Community Transit’s 25th anniversary of service. DiMassimo said CCT makes more than four million trips per year.

“It’s time to look at our next 25 years and figure out what our brand is,” DiMassimo said at a recent town hall meeting in South Cobb.

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