Management & Operations

Rabbit Transit Hops Onto Branding Bandwagon

Posted on July 18, 2000

Rabbit Transit is the official new name and look of Community Transit, York County, Penn.'s public transit system. After months of strategic planning, concept development and focus group testing, Community Transit introduced its new brand at a press conference last week. The development process for Rabbit Transit was modeled after nationally recognized transit success stories in Orlando, Pittsburgh and Champaign-Urbana, Ill., where brand names were established to increase ridership and name recall. In fact, Orlando doubled its ridership just five years after its introduction of LYNX. Currently only 30% of non-riders can remember the name of York County's bus system. Name recall is an important issue for those who don't ordinarily ride the bus, but find themselves suddenly in need of alternate transportation options. "If a potential rider does not know the name of the system, how will they get the information they need?" states Steve Bland, Rabbit Transit executive director. "Although initially we regarded Rabbit Transit as slightly controversial, focus group research proved that the majority of respondents believed the name to imply fast service, a warm approach to dealing with riders, and was highly memorable." Although many images may come to mind with the name "Rabbit Transit," the new logo is not the conventional fuzzy version that's been known to crave carrots. However, the new red vans do have a "cottontail" painted on the back and a stylized white rabbit on the sides. The new name and look also includes new driver uniforms. Rabbit Transit worked with Barry Group Inc. to develop the new marketing campaign. The new name is a direct result of Rabbit Transit's intent to increase ridership and name recognition. Rabbit Transit has a fleet of 21 buses and 48 vans, with nine city bus routes in York and two in Hanover. Van service is provided throughout York County. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000, transit ridership reached an all-time high of over 1.25 million passenger boardings. Currently under construction is a new Transfer Center located at the intersection of King Street and Pershing Avenue just east of the Heritage Rail Trail. For more information about Rabbit Transit, visit the Rabbit Transit Website at www.rabbittransit.org

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