The city of Columbia revealed the rebranding and renaming of Columbia's public transportation system as "COMO Connect" in a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
The logos were designed by Creative Ink, a marketing firm run by students from Stephens College. Students coordinated the rebranding process by designing logos to appear on the side of buses and on the city's website. Stephens College Strategic Communications professor Kate Gray said the students were responsible for all of the work.
"It was all their idea, every single component of it," Gray said. They probably produced 30 to 40 executed ideas."
Gray said the city rejected the students' initial proposals and sent the students back to the drawing board. The city quickly approved the next rebranding ideas students presented and the branding was officially shown off on a newly painted bus Tuesday.
The new bus routes will start beginning August 4, and will be very different from the past routes. COMO Connect Multi-Modal Manager Drew Brooks stressed the bus route overhaul will not impact the city budget.
“Our idea was basically to just take all of our chess pieces and reposition them," Brooks said. "We're not spending any more dollars to accomplish what we're doing today.“
The new routes will feature two main routes which run north, south, east and west. There will also be eight neighborhood routes branching off of the main routes and one route that circles downtown Columbia.
Brooks said buses will pass by bus stops every 15 minutes with the new schedule. He said regular routes will run until 8 in the evening, which is 3 hours longer than the current schedule. Brooks also said the new bus routes will eliminate a central hub and will resemble bussing in larger cities.