Cogswell College Joins Forces with AC Transit for a First-Of-Its-Kind Bus Rapid Transit Launch and Informational Video
Cogswell College, a leading educational institution offering a unique curriculum fusing Digital Art, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship, joined creative forces with the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) in San Jose, Calif. AC Transit is California’s third-largest bus agency, providing an average of nearly 200,000 daily passenger trips with 151 bus lines throughout its 364-square-mile service area.
In June 2016, AC Transit announced the start of major construction for installation of the East Bay’s unprecedented Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. The BRT system will revolutionize public transit in the East Bay by increasing reliability and reducing travel times along one of the region’s busiest corridors. Since BRT is community focused transit, AC Transit sought a public messaging campaign that would appeal to the historic diversity of the East Bay.
After an exhaustive search of community-based groups and colleges offering digital art, animation, and audio services, Cogswell College’s MediaWorks program garnered overwhelming approval by AC Transit’s executive staff. Twenty-five students, working closely with AC Transit staff, designed musical scores, digital art, and animation that depicted the landscape of the BRT route and incorporated the corridor’s rich diversity. The result was this imaginative video which reinvented how Bay Area public transit agencies communicate with the riding public: http://www.actransit.org/brt/
“The students from Cogswell College’s MediaWorks program were given a very specific project, with very specific guidelines with what we wanted as a client,” said Robert Lyles, AC Transit’s manager of media affairs. “We knew we had a multi-million dollar project that most riders in our transit district did not know about. We needed to make this video digestible. We had to put together a video that would not only educate riders about the Bus Rapid Transit system, but also offer a vision of what BRT would mean for their daily commutes and how it might improve their neighborhoods. The final video product delivered by MediaWorks definitely achieved that goal.”
As a result, AC Transit and Cogswell College entered into an in-kind promotional agreement for a fully wrapped 40-foot Bus. The college’s eye-catching orange and black school colors served as the base for the promotional wrap. The imagery on the sides of the bus included “Cogs”—the school’s dragon mascot—along with the school’s logo, website address, and the tagline: “Discover Your Fire!” This highly visible bus, estimated to be seen by more than 170,000 passengers per day, is helping to promote Cogswell College to residents living in and around the East Bay area.
“The Bus wrap we collaborated on with AC Transit is a truly important advertising and promotional tool for our school outside of the South Bay area,” said Ken Banks, Cogswell College’s acting president. “It reflects the creativity and imagination of our student body and is helping us reach out to prospective new students in an equally imaginative way. The Bus is quite beautiful and everyone here at Cogswell was very excited to see it, especially the members of our Esports team who posed with it immediately upon its arrival on our campus. We even got phone calls from numerous Cogswell alumni who had seen the bus on East Bay streets and simply had to let us know how impactful they felt it was. We are looking forward to our continued partnership with AC Transit well into 2017 and beyond!”
The success of the MediaWorks project has spawned a second collaborative agreement between Cogswell College and AC Transit. At present, students from Cogswell’s Game Studio class are developing an original game app for AC Transit. This transit-themed video game is also a first-of-its-kind undertaking for a transit agency and will be available via Apple and Google App stores early in 2017. A sneak peek of the app, entitled “AC Transit: Drive,” is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a29xXSQv8zY