Colored Buses

London Green Bus (Country Bus)
London Green Bus (Country Bus)

Wikipedia has a brief article on the history of Green Line Coaches
Rather than coloring each bus route (or BRT service) as Metro Transit is proposing, London and other cities color code buses based on the type of service. Green Line was service to the country (which was greener than the city, which retains its Red Buses).
We can imagine a system which the different services (express, local) received special branding rather than the Right-of-Way. As CityFix reports on Korea quoting John Calimente:

The bus re-brand certainly helped. Calimente explains what each of the colors mean:

  • Blue buses travel long distances on major arterial roads.
  • Green buses operate as feeder buses to the eight lines on the subway system.
  • Red buses are express routes with limited stops connecting major suburban towns to the central city.
  • Yellow buses are circular routes that travel between the major destinations in the central city.

The colors in Korea denote function, and are actually the color of the buses. This isn’t about way finding, for which colors are not terribly natural solutions, and lend themselves to problems if any complexity emerges.
London and New York, among others, don’t waste their time on color-coding lines. (i.e. it is the District Line, not the Green Line, because of history, even if it is confusing due to various splits.
We are throwing away 7 years of history (and natural way-finding) by renaming Hiawatha. Wouldn’t it be easier to rename Bottineau Blvd to Hiawatha Ave N and keep the LRT name? [I think the Bottineau name is fairly new in most parts, and most people seem to call it County 81.] Maybe we should call it Bottinwatha. (Okay, this is facetious, but the point remains).
We introduce more confusion if buses transfer from one BRT to another (as Brandon suggests the Red Line buses going on 62 to I-35W), or LRT vehicles don’t follow the color-coded right-of-way. DC is going through contortions now, with various train services not matching the color coded tracks. The service is the color, or the track? When they were identical, not an issue, now it is.

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