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Time for a common livery?

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Time for a common livery?

Postby system improver » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:10 pm

Something that has been resisted by many operators and certainly dreaded by most enthusiasts, the adoption of a common livery, or certain liveries for certain services, appears to be happening anyway. The move to all over white with decals has slowly but steadily spread throughout the industry. It would seem that, very soon, the vast majority of buses will carry this style. So why not go all the way? For the standard route service bus, perhaps an all white bus with the logo:
Image
plastered around at strategic points. It could be moved to accommodate advertisements. The operators name would appear as it does in either Perth or Adelaide. It would certainly reduce costs, so is it time to go standard?
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby B7RLE » Thu Apr 26, 2012 3:53 pm

No i dont think it is colours help when the passengers ask how do i get here and you can say oh look out for a certain colour bus with what ever up on the desto
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby revenue » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:55 pm

I think common liveries are only a matter of time. This doesn't necessarily mean every bus is identical. For example, we have a common livery for the 401 and 601, and another common livery for Smartbus.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby RailwayBus » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:58 pm

A common (PTV) livery is already in the early stages of planning, but not necessarily committed to yet.

There are already two trains in PTV version of Metro livery.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby dex » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:40 pm

Damn, i get a kick out of saying "No, the blue bus goes to Craigieburn". Hehehehe...
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby BluDART » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:44 pm

A common livery isn't really needed in Melbourne, as it allows passengers to distinguish individual company regions and technically the companies themselves are reducing the number of liveries across Melbourne, so a government livery ain't needed as their stickers are practically plastered all over each bus, do we need more government propaganda and waste of money? You only need a common livery if your government is like adelaide or perth constantly changing operator contracts, whereas Melbourne route contracts hardly change ownerships and companies in Melbourne are being merged, big deal its only a few liveries including prepaid and smartbus.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby krustyklo » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:05 pm

A common livery isn't really needed in Melbourne, as it allows passengers to distinguish individual company regions and technically the companies themselves are reducing the number of liveries across Melbourne, so a government livery ain't needed as their stickers are practically plastered all over each bus, do we need more government propaganda and waste of money? You only need a common livery if your government is like adelaide or perth constantly changing operator contracts, whereas Melbourne route contracts hardly change ownerships and companies in Melbourne are being merged, big deal its only a few liveries including prepaid and smartbus.


I'm in the leave things as they are camp too. It makes passengers' life easier with some differentiation between services, it doesn't cost any more money to leave things as they are and apart from some perceived aesthetic or spin benefits I cannot think of a reason to have a common Melbourne-wide livery.

I think it was appropriate to differentiate Smartbus and the 401/601 as, compared to normal bus services and the related perceptions therein, they are a premium service and it is good to indicate that by a "premium" livery. But unless there is a step change in normal services worth promoting as something special, I don't see any reason to change.

Examples of a step change in services would be:
  • Smartbus frequency and hours of operation without the "smart" bits like the 305 is currently operated.
  • An area wide guaranteed frequency and hours of operation as well as well timetabled interchange. The recent northern suburbs changes had potential there to introduce 20 minute frequencies all day with connections to trains off peak, as well as services extensions until late connecting to trains (without necessarily being "Trainlink" services) on at least some of the routes but I suspect that would have required a modest increase in subsidy and I'm guessing the aim was to offset some of the costs of the new rail operation by removing more services than was provided under the new arrangements.

My only gripe with Melbourne liveries is the hotch potch of red/yellow, all yellow and blue/yellow of National Bus. Now that IS confusing to passengers although I appreciate why it is the way it is.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby Mitch » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:19 pm

If this were to happen, would this be for Melbourne only or for the entire state, à la TNSW?

It would be disappointing if we were following suit of TNSW, because there's some liveries out there that I quite like. McHarry's (not biased) and Mitchell Transit being two of them.

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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby Peter1805 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:07 am

Just sounds like yet another way for public servants to waste money..
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby scott » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:26 pm

Just print a heap of PTV stickers, slap em on each bus and be done with it, it costs a lot less than respraying each and every bus. It is a lot of money to waste for very little benefit.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby RailwayBus » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:46 pm

For anyone claiming retaining seperate liveries benefits passengers because they identify buses by colour, in many cases this is not true.

A person travelling on a National bus route may have a bus turn up in any of the following: Red/yellow, Yellow, Blue, Smart bus
A person travelling on Grenda Group routes have a multitude of liveries that can turn up.
A person travelling on a Broadmeadows Bus Lines route may have a white bus or a blue bus turn up.

I'm sure there are other examples out there.

That said, I'm not saying we should have a common livery, as I also think it is a waste of money, but rather, using the above argument won't get anyone anywhere.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby krustyklo » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:13 pm

For anyone claiming retaining seperate liveries benefits passengers because they identify buses by colour, in many cases this is not true.

A person travelling on a National bus route may have a bus turn up in any of the following: Red/yellow, Yellow, Blue, Smart bus
A person travelling on Grenda Group routes have a multitude of liveries that can turn up.
A person travelling on a Broadmeadows Bus Lines route may have a white bus or a blue bus turn up.

I'm sure there are other examples out there.

That said, I'm not saying we should have a common livery, as I also think it is a waste of money, but rather, using the above argument won't get anyone anywhere.


Problem is, exceptions don't always prove the rule. In each of those cases, the operator is transitioning from an old livery to a new livery on the cheap by not immediately repainting every bus in the new livery. Once users potentially recognise or can have described the new livery, it is not all that many extra instructions. In fact, there are further short cuts anyway as people can recognise the operator even if not always understand the route they need to take. In a lot of Melbourne, there is actual benefit.

Some local contra examples:
I can tell my wife to either catch the Smartbus or the Dysons bus. Both have distinctive liveries and serve different destinations.
I can tell randoms to catch any bus that is not green from Greensborough to Shoppingtown (although that one is admittedly sort of easier due to different stops for the 293)
I can tell randoms to catch either the blue bus or the red/yellow bus or the yellow bus from Greensborough to Box Hill.
I can tell people looking bewildered at the stop in Doncaster Rd that any bus other than a Smartbus will dump them at Shoppingtown - despite the fact they are all run by the same company!
I can point to a red / blue / white bus at Northland and tell people it will take them to Reservoir, unlike the mustard coloured buses going to Heidelberg West / LaTrobe or Ivanhoe, the green / blue / white buses going to Bundoora or Rosanna, or the blue buses going to Thornbury and the city (yes I know Ivanhoe is changing to similar colours - but I can still refer to it as an Ivanhoe Bus Company or NBC labelled bus if needed).

I am sure there are far more examples than that at most major shopping centres and interchanges.

The real answer to your problem is that bus companies should be given a limited time to change their livery rather than it dragging on for years like NBC (see Dysons for a mostly good example). Even then, I suspect that the nature of the arrangement probably is the real culprit - I gather Ventura are franchising NBC under a limited time contract? If correct, I don't blame them for not wanting to spend money if they don't have to when companies they do actually own are in the same position. The solution there is the franchiser may need to chip in or make some sort of guarantee - but I don't know if it is such a big problem that my money should be spent on it... :lol:
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby tranzitjim » Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:00 pm

I too agree with all one livery for all 'MyKi' busses.

They are all part of the same franchise, therefore they should all be trading with the same identity on their skins.

This is one reason why I support the conversion of all bus routes to 'SmartBusses'.

In any case, the Destination sign on the bus should be enough, together with having some kind of map or guide at each and every bus stop.

The MyKi/Metcard-before-them/The Met way back then, has been unique to the whole world of franchise set ups, of whereby the franchise operator 'are not proud enough to wear their franchisor identity'.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby Peter1805 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:06 pm

tranzitjim wrote:I too agree with all one livery for all 'MyKi' busses.

They are all part of the same franchise, therefore they should all be trading with the same identity on their skins.

This is one reason why I support the conversion of all bus routes to 'SmartBusses'.

In any case, the Destination sign on the bus should be enough, together with having some kind of map or guide at each and every bus stop.

The MyKi/Metcard-before-them/The Met way back then, has been unique to the whole world of franchise set ups, of whereby the franchise operator 'are not proud enough to wear their franchisor identity'.


What the??

What has the ticketing system got to do with the liveries??

Am I missing something here? :?
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby Mitch » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:44 pm

How does ticketing have anything to do with what franchise a bus company belongs to? I don't get it.

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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby krustyklo » Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:05 pm

What the??

What has the ticketing system got to do with the liveries??

Am I missing something here? :?


Plus the fact that Melbourne's routes aren't franchised apart from the ex-government routes. As for "franchise operators not proud enough to wear their franchisor identity", I suspect that the franchisor, in this case the Victorian government, had their own reasons for not requiring operators to wear an 'identity'.

Prior to the formation of the Met, bus operations in Melbourne didn't receive a direct subsidy as such apart from some specific reasons e.g. concessions, a very limited range of multi modal tickets as outlined on the Melbourne ticketing history site, and contracts for specific services such as Vicrail country rail replacement buses. Hence there was no "franchisor" to wear the identity of.

Upon the formation of the MTA, bus operators were required to wear a sticker identifying the service as being a Met operated / subsidised service as any contemporary picture will show. This requirement seemed to be short lived. This is probably the sole example of wearing any sort of common identification as part of the livery.

Upon election of the Liberal government in 1992, they started moving away from a common image with route timetables and bus stop flags changing from the various 'Met' styles to being operator specific. In this case I suspect the political philosophy was to move away from an image and reality of a government run PT system in favour of moving some way back towards a privately run system. Hence it suited them NOT to promote a common organisation but to promote the idea of competition and a free market system.

This fragmentation of identity was deemed a bit of a disaster and with the formation of Metlink there was a move to the current common identity. Even now, Metlink is not nor has ever been the "franchisor". The operators are paid by the DoT and Metlink is merely a common marketing brand. Operators are still paid by the DoT with the flags and signage presuambly being deemed enough to show a common image, along with small Metlink stickers on the outside of vehicles.

I am sure others will correct any of my potted history if it is especially incorrect, but at the end of the day as long as the bus showed up on time, and the route was frequent enough to use with any flexibility, then I don't know that 'The Met' or 'Metlink' stickers are something any passenger really cares about. In the grand scheme of things, the bus can be purple and pink for all I care, as long as it is useable. Otherwise, the smartest colour scheme in the world will make no difference if the bus only shows up every hour and goes the long way to get me from point A to Point B - I will be admiring it from the comfort of my car. If it makes you feel better, send me a PTV sticker for the back window... :lol:

As for making every route a Smartbus in order to enable a common livery... I'm not entirely convinced this is the most cost effective way of achieving that aim... :roll:
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby dex » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:01 pm

I keep getting the smartbuses and the jetstar planes mixed up. Real pain when I end up in Sydney when i meant to go to frankston. Although, a better outcome in the end.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby krustyklo » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:32 pm

I keep getting the smartbuses and the jetstar planes mixed up. Real pain when I end up in Sydney when i meant to go to frankston. Although, a better outcome in the end.


Yeah, I've had the opposite problem and instead of making it to Southport on the Gold Coast ended up in South Morang...

Frankly, I think we should make all planes a consistent colour to avoid being confused for Smartbuses.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby dex » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:56 pm

Gees, i hear that! South Morang, southport..Very unlucky.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby Daniel » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:15 pm

Mitch wrote:If this were to happen, would this be for Melbourne only or for the entire state, à la TNSW?

It would be disappointing if we were following suit of TNSW, because there's some liveries out there that I quite like. McHarry's (not biased) and Mitchell Transit being two of them.

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Not sure what you mean by TNSW applying to the whole of NSW. It only applies to Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle and surrounds generally. A lot of the regional operators are not included.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby Mitch » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:53 pm

Daniel wrote:
Mitch wrote:If this were to happen, would this be for Melbourne only or for the entire state, à la TNSW?

It would be disappointing if we were following suit of TNSW, because there's some liveries out there that I quite like. McHarry's (not biased) and Mitchell Transit being two of them.

Thanks,
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Not sure what you mean by TNSW applying to the whole of NSW. It only applies to Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle and surrounds generally. A lot of the regional operators are not included.


Oh, thanks for the information. From what I've seen on the board and various pictures, I was under the impression that TNSW was being applied to the whole of NSW, but thanks for the info!

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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby 1whoknows » Tue May 01, 2012 12:51 pm

Some regional buses will be included. There is already a Bustech in TNSW livery which after a period as a demo will go into service on the Tweed Coast routes. I suspect you will also see regional "town service" buses in this livery over time but not the rural school buses.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby Daniel » Sun May 06, 2012 7:35 am

As far as I know, the Bustech will be repainted into TL/Surfside livery. Tweed is not required to feature TNSW buses. I can't see any of the regional/rural town service buses recieving TNSW for some time yet, they are essentially on par with the regional school services. Some contract changes would need to occur, but I would give it at least a decade (if at all).
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby V981 » Sun May 06, 2012 9:36 pm

Question for you all to consider.

Why would having a common livery be efficient or effective when the states Public transport body, now known at PTV seems to keep changing its name and logo every 5 years. The way things work now, you would probably just finish getting all of Melbournes buses into the current livery, only to have the boffins at Transport House decide its time to change the name and logo again, usually to distance itself from the stench of a poor public opinion.

At least by keeping things the way they are, it allows for the private operators to keep operating using their own identification and heritage. For the most part, companies such as Ventura, Grenda, Driver, CDC and numerous smaller operators have good reputations in their local communities for providing reliable bus services. Until such time that the state government gets serious about public transport and moves past simply providing spin and public relations excercises, I say allow the individual operators to maintain their own branding in their areas of operation.
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Re: Time for a common livery?

Postby 08 XDi » Fri May 11, 2012 10:43 pm

As a passenger, I don't care whether Bob's buses, Joe's buses or even Jim's Tranzit shows up. I only care that I can use my integrated ticket to get where I am going quickly, safely and with a minimum of fuss, no matter who provides the service. It is not relevant to me who is making money off the government to provide the run. As far as I am concerned each bus should be virtually identical inside - same colour palette, same seating design, same everything (to the extent the body permits). Branding and familiarity is important, despite what people like to think about it all being a five-knuckle shuffle.

As an enthusiast, I will be mildly disappointed, but there are more interesting things than track buses to take photos of anyway. Most Melbourne liveries aren't that stellar (although I have always been partial to Ventura 2-tone blue and to the Ivanhoe livery).

The important thing is that the livery should not be a complete sack of manure (like TransLink's for instance). Maybe some decent public input could come up with something attractive and functional - Melbourne is supposed to be the beating cultural heart of the country after all.

As an aside, it beggars belief that even the taxis in Melbourne have a common livery and yet this argument is still going on!
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