Trams set to glide around Edinburgh’s streets will be plastered with “platinum” logos – while the buses get gold designs in a low-cost branding exercise billed as one of the first steps towards integrating transport in the Capital.
The new branding for tram and buses running under umbrella body Transport for Edinburgh was unveiled for the first time today – five months before the planned launch date of the £776 million tram route.
City chiefs have labelled the designs as a “bold new look” for the city’s transport network, and will show them off to the public on Princes Street today when a tram makes it way along the street during daylight hours.
The logos have been developed by Edinburgh-based digital firm Whitespace, which has been responsible for designs used by Tennent’s Lager, Highland Spring and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The images will appear on the front of each of the 27 trams below the driver’s window and also on the side of several carriages.
Leaflets, timetables and even Ridacards are eventually expected to carry the new designs. The logos will also appear on the new travel shop being opened on Waverley Bridge.
The branding is based on a round circle that contains a simple interconnecting route map.
It has been billed as showcasing the “interchange terminals of passengers and the strategic approach of collaboration between modes of transport within the Transport for Edinburgh family”.
Madder – a deep reddish, purple colour – will feature in all the logos. Transport leaders wanted to retain the distinct colour because of its use historically on Lothian Buses vehicles.
The branding process for the trams has cost about £80,000.
Each 45m-long tram will be “dressed” with the new logos and colour scheme at a cost of £2554 for each vehicle ahead of the line’s operational launch by May next year.
Some new vehicles in the Lothian Buses fleet will display the branding from next month, but logos will only be added to others as they are replaced in efforts to save cash.
City transport convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said gold has been chosen for the buses to save money and stick with existing palettes, with the colour already in use.
She said: “My understanding is it is platinum for the trams and gold for the buses. It’s not about this competition between bus and tram. To me, it’s about choice and integration.
“You may want to use the bus to go out to the airport because you want to stop off at Corstorphine, for example, or you may want to take the tram because it more than likely will be quicker.”
Cllr Hinds added: “The designers have taken into account what the focus groups said. We’ve still got the madder colour through it [the brand] and it’s easier to put a different colour on the trams. It was seen that platinum would look good in terms of being quite sleek and modern.”
A new website for the eight-mile long tram line from Edinburgh Airport to York Place has also been launched at www.edinburghtrams.com.
City chiefs are ultimately targeting the goal of “integrated transport” across Edinburgh – a system where passengers could use the same tickets across trams, buses and trains, and easily move between different modes of transport at hubs such as Haymarket.
The council is considering extending the branding in future to cycling and park-and-ride facilities. Cllr Hinds said: “If you go to other European cities, you move from one mode of transport very easily to another.
“That was the whole purpose of this branding, for integration and for people to feel that it was an integrated system that we’re striving to get. Rather than waiting for five years and thinking ‘we need to re-brand this and relaunch it’, we’ve decided to do it all at the same time. We’re also making sure the cost of branding the trams is kept to a minimum and that we’re doing it the cheapest and most effective way that we can.”
Lothian Buses had already been looking to revamp its branding, with the decision taken more recently to roll out the same designs across the trams.
Transport for Edinburgh chief executive Ian Craig, pictured above, said: “People will start to see the new logo branding on our bus vehicles from January next year and on all trams at operational service. In the short term there will be no direct changes that will affect our passengers; Ridacards and pre-purchased tickets will still be valid for use.”
The branding was unveiled as contractors officially handed over control of a 1.3-mile section of track between the Gogar tram depot and Edinburgh Park to the city council.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “This is a welcome early Christmas present and builds on the recent momentum, meaning the public can see trams running through the city centre and begin to believe that the finishing line is in sight.
“Transport Scotland has played a key role in supporting Edinburgh City Council and contractors to get the project back on track and will continue to work with them to bring the delivery date forward if possible. Alongside the redevelopment of Haymarket and Waverley stations, the Capital will soon have a modern transport system to be proud of.”
The first meeting of Transport for Edinburgh’s board will be held tomorrow. The organisation, which is in charge of both tram and buses, is forecast to make £55.2m in profits over the first 15 years of operation.
Testing of trams through the West End and on Princes Street is expected to increase in frequency from next month.
Suits lined up for staff
A GREY suit, jacket and tie will be given to all tram drivers and ticket inspectors to wear when the line begins next year.
The new uniforms were being unveiled today at the St Andrew Square tram stop in conjunction with the rollout of special branding across all of the city’s 27 trams.
Council insiders confirmed the colour madder would be incorporated into the uniform to offset the simple grey design.
Hats will not be part of the official dress code, but pins bearing the new Transport for Edinburgh logo will be worn by all tram staff.
Almost a third of the £7.4 million-a-year operating costs to run the trams is being taken up by paying drivers and inspectors. Fifty-two inspectors will be out to catch fare skippers.
Edinburgh Trams: Platinum, or silver, has been chosen for the logo’s main colour in efforts to create a “sleek and modern” look. All 27 trams in the fleet will have the design on the front as well as down the sides of carriages.
Lothian Buses: Gold has been retained for the buses to tie in with the company’s existing palette. The design will appear on the front, back and sides of single and double-decker buses. Logos will be added as old vehicles are replaced.
Transport for Edinburgh: The logo is also being used for the company formed to run the city’s tram and bus network. The Transport for Edinburgh banner will be on the facade for the new travel shop opening on Waverley Bridge.