A bespoke identity has been created for South East Hampshire’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network, of which the first phase will be ready to open in April next year.
The busway and its vehicles will be branded as ‘Eclipse’, a name Hampshire County Council has selected “to reflect the superior bus experience Eclipse offers, effectively ‘eclipsing’ bus travel as it has been perceived previously in the era.”
The council commissioned the expertise of local design and web agency, The Escape, to develop the brand which will promote the first phase of the scheme, a new dedicated busway built on a disused railway trackbed between Fareham and Gosport.
The design, gold lettering set in a deep purple, interstellar background, has been met with approval by the South Hampshire Bus Operators’ Association. Vehicles serving the busway will be operated by First Hampshire & Dorset, who has commissioned new buses in the Eclipse livery. Artist’s impressions show the vehicles as Wright Volvos. Selected bus services running on the Gosport peninsula will also use the busway for part of their journey.
Marc Reddy, regional commercial and business growth director for First South West and Wales, said: “We are investing £2.3m in 14 superior quality, high specification Eclipse buses to meet the needs of public transport users today.
“In keeping with the sophisticated exterior, the buses will be upgraded internally and fitted with leather seating, wood-effect flooring, free Wi-Fi and internal display screens. The screens will offer local travel and route information as well as details about the next stops to be served, and information about the latest fare offers.”
The BRT scheme is being implemented by Transport for South Hampshire (TfSH), a partnership between Hampshire County Council, and Portsmouth and Southampton City Councils, which aims to improve transport in the area.
Buses will use the phase 1 busway for part of their journey with routes extending beyond into the surrounding residential areas, linking to key destinations and transport interchanges at the Gosport Ferry terminal, Fareham railway station and Fareham bus station in Fareham town centre.
To see how the busway will look when it launches in April 2012, see the computer-generated visual at www.hants.gov.uk