“Link” proposed Bus Rapid Transit name and brand

For immediate release: July 10, 2024 - 4:55 pm

Following extensive planning and careful consideration, City officials have proposed the name “Link” to be used for the branding and marketing of the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. This new bus service will fall under the master brand of Saskatoon Transit, but it will have its own visual identity to reflect the unique service while complementing the master brand. 

Research on BRT systems in cities across North America shows early introduction and adoption of a BRT system brand identity is essential to the success of the new transit service. A report will be presented July 17 to the Governance and Priorities Committee of City Council seeking approval for the new Saskatoon Transit BRT brand name and visual identity. 

City Administration worked with Entro, a global firm with specialized knowledge in this field, on brand development for the BRT. A comprehensive eight-step process guided the identification of a brand name and visual identity. Steps included a brand and site audit, stakeholder research, visioning, naming, brand development and validation, visual language, and guidelines.  

The proposed “Link” brand will refer exclusively to the rapid transit lines (routes) currently identified as the red, green, and blue lines. 

Through naming workshops and discussions held with the public and key groups/organizations in Saskatoon, the name was associated with words such as connectivity, welcoming, accessible, reliable, modern and clear/straightforward. Participants also identified that the name embodied concepts of connection, speed and network and was timeless and easy to understand. 

If approved by City Council, work on the Link brand, marketing and wayfinding signage will continue over the coming months. This will involve the implementation of a communications and marketing plan aimed to increase community awareness of the new brand name. Communications will be focused on informing the public before there are construction impacts and provide education on the new future transit service. 

With the final BRT funding announcement from the Investing in Canada’s Infrastructure Program (ICIP) on June 28, the project can now proceed to the detailed design, procurement and construction phases. The City has retained engineering and consulting firm CIMA+ to complete detailed designs and assist in the tendering and management of construction contracts.   

Construction of part of the transit signal priority (TSP) system and the start of construction of 14 of the BRT stations’ concrete platforms is expected to begin this summer. This work will continue with another 30 stations in 2025.  

Engagement activities have been ongoing over the last few years on streetscaping design elements, public art components, station design, feeder routes and other project features, and will continue until the system is launched. 

For more information on the project, visit saskatoon.ca/brt