Cedar Rapids’ bus system has dropped the EAGL moniker and the department name Five Seasons Transportation Parking, as transit and parking are now separated under new city organization. The EAGL name, an acronym for “Environmental Alternative for a Greater Lifestyle” was introduced back in 1993, replacing the previous nickname, “Easyrider” and design scheme consisting of white buses with a simple red stripe down the sides.
After city reorganizing, the new separate transit department is now officially known as Cedar Rapids Transit, but system re-branding has not yet taken place. Currently the buses retain the same teal color scheme on the old buses and wavy green scheme on the new buses, but some of the EAGL and FST&P labels have been removed.
New buses are also in store for Cedar Rapids. I contacted transit manager Brad DeBrower who told me there is funding for three new buses is programmed into the proposed budget but it will be at least a year before they are delivered and hit the streets. He said he expects a new Cedar Rapids Transit color and design scheme for the buses will come at that time.
I am pleased with the new name and re-branding to come. EAGL was never a very strong identification as most residents simply referred to it as “the bus.” A striking branding and catchy name can really help increase community awareness of transit, as evident with CyRide in Ames, Cambus in Iowa City, and Des Moines MTA’s recent re-branding as DART. FST&P had long strove to serve the needs of the elderly and disabled in the community, which is good, but severely lacked in public image and identity. Hopefully the re-branding will increase visibility of public transit in Cedar Rapids and encourage more able-bodied, financially-stable riders.