Fairfax County officials unveil brand identity for Richmond Highway BRT


Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk speaks at Richmond Highway BRT brand launch event

Fairfax County officials revealed the name and logo for the future Richmond Highway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system the morning of Feb. 25 at a brand launch press event at the Gerry Hyland Government Center in Alexandria.

The BRT system’s newly appointed name, “The One,” and its logo and color scheme were settled on by the Richmond Highway BRT Executive Committee last spring. Before officially unveiling the brand identity to the public, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, who grew up around the Richmond Highway corridor, thanked all stakeholders involved in helping the project come together — from various transportation organizations to community members and the Board of Supervisors.

“I don’t think most people understand the complexity of something like what we’re getting ready to do on the Route 1 corridor,” said McKay. 

The One, which is tentatively expected to enter service in 2030, is “not just your ordinary bus,” continued McKay, as it will feature dedicated lanes, nine high-quality stations and aesthetically pleasing branding. Connecting Huntington Metro on the northern end of the corridor with Fort Belvoir on the southern end, the public transport system will include pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and other amenities.

For his part, Lee District Supervisor Rodney Lusk said he supported “The One” nomenclature due to his vision of one connected community along a revitalized corridor that will benefit from diverse employment options, more modern amenities and more opportunities — “elements that have traditionally only been found in the northern and western parts of our county.”

BRT decision makers spent a great deal of time trying to select the right name for the new system, said Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck. In the end, “'The One' was the one we needed to have." Storck pointed to several examples of local tie-ins, including Mount Vernon being home to the first (#1) president, Fort Belvoir being the #1 employer in the state and the Richmond Highway corridor being the highest point in the county.

One of Fairfax County’s key partners in the project is the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA), which invested $250 million in the BRT system. NVTA Chief Executive Officer Monica Backmon said her organization is excited to be part of the initiative, which — when complete — is going to be the largest bus rapid transit in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Ultimately, The One is expected to transport around 15,000 passengers daily, according to the Fairfax County Department of Transportation (FCDOT).

"The One" moniker and its designated logo and color scheme originally were just one of several brand identity options presented to the Richmond Highway community during public meetings, focus groups and an online survey early last year. At an April 16, 2021 meeting of the Richmond Highway BRT Executive Committee, BRT project staff recommended “The One” over the alternatives, “X” and “RHEX,” due to the name’s connection with Route 1, sense of community and unity, and preference by youth focus groups, which represented those who would be using the service the longest. Blue/cyan was the recommended color scheme over alternatives of navy/orange and warm red. Richmond Highway BRT Executive Committee members, including Storck and Lusk, unanimously approved the project staff’s recommendations. 

Following are just a few of the findings from last year’s BRT branding survey and community focus groups:

  • Several hundred individuals responded to the survey, according to FCDOT.
  • 20% of survey respondents said they lived in the 22306 zip code; the next highest percentage of respondents (9%) said they lived in 22308.
  • From a cumulative branding perspective (viewing prospective brand names on their own, then with written explanations, then with color logos, and finally with color logos on the actual bus design), survey respondents slightly preferred “RHEX” over “The One” and “X.”
  • Within the focus groups, individuals from the northern end of the Richmond Highway corridor preferred the name “X,” while those from the southern end preferred “The One.” Hispanic focus group participants tended to prefer “RHEX,” while youth participants leaned toward “The One.”

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