Arlington is moving forward with streetcar plans for Columbia Pike and Route 1. How might the trains be branded once they start running?

It seems unlikely they’ll be branded as Metro. What are the options? I created some potential concepts in Photoshop. These are not official branding proposals, just my own ideas for discussion.

The DC Streetcar will look like a DC Circulator. What about the same for Arlington Transit? ART’s wavy green livery is clean and unique. Extended to a streetcar, it might look like this:

That’s pretty nice, but unlikely. After all, both the Columbia Pike and Route 1 lines will extend into other jurisdictions. Fairfax and Alexandria might not like their streetcars branded as part of ART.

How about mimicking the DC streetcar, so as to give the impression of a unified regional system? Starting with that paint scheme but substituting the red from DC’s flag with blue from Virginia’s, a streetcar might look like this:

That could work, but it’s certainly not the only option. There’s no reason Virginia streetcars need to be branded like anything currently out there. There are endless permutations. Here’s another:

In fact, streetcars don’t necessarily need special branding at all. The mere fact that they’re streetcars may be branding enough. Portland and Seattle each use a variety of solid colors, and it works just fine. Applied to Virginia, that might look something like this:

What do you think?

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Tagged: streetcars

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado and lives in northeast DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post .