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Waitakere Buses Get a Brand New Look

Media Release

Embargoed until 11.00 on 23 February 2008

Waitakere Buses Get a Brand New Look

From today the Waitakere bus service operated by Stagecoach, is changing its name and its colours.

The new name and look to be unveiled today by his worship the Mayor, Bob Harvey and the CEO of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Fergus Gammie is:

Go West

The newly brightly coloured buses reinforce the beauty of the surrounding ranges and their vibrant wildlife. The green colour palette was chosen to emphasise the pride in serving the ‘eco’ city.

Brett Husband, general manager for Go West, said: “The Go West colours and designs were chosen to fuse together the destinations of Waitakere with its rich surroundings, to capture the passion and inspiration that fuels West Auckland. The design itself emerged after consultation with staff and designers.

“The team were invited to be involved in the concepts and had a big hand in the design of the new uniforms as well,” Brett said.

The five different illustrations you will see on the buses show the kowhai, pohutukawa, tui, gecko and pond bird, each made up using the names of destinations to be found on the Go West routes.

Bruce Emson, CEO of NZ Bus, said: “The buses are a lot more than a new name and a new look. They are a new mindset. NZ Bus want to be part of each of the communities it serves, so we decided that instead of one brand for all our buses we would have six community brands. We want our customers to see ‘their’ buses as part of the community.

“Public transport services are all about serving people in a community. They must be focussed on the needs of the people they serve, while also fitting into an overall network.

“The team that makes up Go West are responsible for ensuring their services meet customers’ needs and they have a strong relationship with their communities,” Bruce Emson said.

Go West provides over 3 million rides per year across 90 buses. “We want to grow that and we know the only way to do that is to invest in our people and our fleet to ensure we keep improving the service we offer,” Brett said.

With the new bright green livery and their flora and fauna the buses will be easily recognisable by everyone as Waitakere buses.

The Mayor of Waitakere, Bob Harvey, said: “I applaud the new initiatives of the Waitakere bus service, Go West. I am well aware of the importance of a high quality public transport system for our region. The pride the community will feel in a service that they feel is responsive to their needs will go a long way to encourage people to use the public transport system and retain the large customer base that already use public transport in our region.”

“The council is committed to upping the game in bus service and public transport in Waitakere, and there is no better evidence of this than our public transport hub, the Waitakere Central Bus/Rail interchange.”

“Good transport links are critical particularly with rising fuel costs and a move towards more sustainability. The launch today is another exciting initiative,” he said.

The CEO of the Auckland Regional Transport Authority, Fergus Gammie, congratulated Go West on their new look. "We are pleased to be working with partners like Go West who show their commitment to their customers through continuous innovation and who are working closely with ARTA to build the best public transport system for the region”.

The new Go West branding incorporates new exterior bus livery, new staff uniforms and new promotional material. However, Brett Husband said: “The re-branding is more than skin deep. If our buses are to be the best they can be we must give our people the support they need to deliver great passenger service.”

“The first task was to survey the staff, to get their feedback on how we could do things better to live up to the new brand. There were lots of suggestions for improvement that we are working through. Changes won’t happen overnight but the survey focused us on what we need to give priority to.”

Additional training to support the re-branding has also been implemented. A two-day customer service course has been added to the training programme for new drivers, and all 160 existing staff have completed a new one-day customer service refresher course which, included stress management, presentation and dealing with difficult customers and other road users.

“This course is wide-ranging in nature and will be followed by more specialised courses focusing on specific areas of the customer and driver experience.

“In January this year Go West introduced a ‘Mystery Shopper’ programme. This external audit measures bus tidiness, customer service, presentation, driving style and everything else that forms part of the customers’ experience,” Brett Husband said.

The end

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