As we mentioned in a previous post, we’re changing the colour of our B-Lines when the new ones launch in late 2019.
Why introduce new colours?
This new green and blue colour scheme is about improving customer experience. We’re making it easier for customers to distinguish the B-Lines from the rest of our bus fleet by giving them a new look.
Colours, like maps and signage, are an important wayfinding tool. Wayfinding refers to information that guides people through physical environments and consists of a variety of elements – one of them being colour.
While colour preference is subjective, people agree it’s an important wayfinding tool. Colour gives people a visible way to identify a difference. For example, the new colours will give customers a visible way to distinguish a limited-stop B-Line service, from a regular bus.
How did we choose the colours?
We held two focus groups to help us determine the best colours. One group was conducted among relatively frequent bus riders – those who use the bus at least once a week. A second group was conducted among occasional bus riders – those who use the bus once a month or less frequently.
Customers were then given a colour wheel and asked to indicate the top three colours that they felt best communicated the benefits of this enhanced bus service. They marked their first choice with a ‘1’, their second choice with a ‘2’ and their third choice with a ‘3’. The slides that follow show customers’ selections.
When thinking about colours that are highly visible, convey movement, speed and reliability, both customer groups gravitated toward colours in the green-yellow spectrum as you can see from the colour wheels.
The reasons participants gave for preferring colours (and buses) in the green-yellow spectrum included:
- “High visibility”
- “You can see it coming from far away”
- “Like traffic lights, green means go”
- “Fast, speed, stands out from the current colours”
- “Green (and blue) are cooler colours, calmer for people – convey a message that it’s going to be smooth. Red is more angry”
- “I like the limey green because it reminds me of European fire trucks”
- “I like it, although I wish it was slightly darker.”
The one exception was orange. Orange was among the top colour choice for a number of participants. However, once customers saw a rendering of an orange bus, they no longer found it compelling:
Colours in the blue spectrum (and the blue bus) also resonated with some participants:
- “It means a soothing, cool, fast commute”.
- “It conveys a west coast vibe”.
- “Yeah, it’s good – it’s interesting”.
However, customers expressed concern that a bus in this colour might not be visible enough.
Buses in the red and purple spectrum weren’t well received by participants.
Once customers told us their preference was the green-yellow spectrum, we experimented with different colours of green.
We also had to consider that if the green was too dark (like forest green), it would be hard to see. If a bus was too light (like lime green), it would show dirt quicker than darker green. Taking into account visibility and dirt, we landed on the green colour below.
Since colour is subjective, we know that not everyone will like the new green colour, but we hope this gives you a sense of how we got here.
Let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you!
Author: Tanushree Pillai