Golden Empire Transit (GET), based in Bakersfield, CA, has been serving city for over forty years. As the mass transit operator in town, they play an integral role in the city’s infrastructure and economy, and have used this position to go above and beyond.
GET buses are rarely just buses. They are community works of art, reminders of Bakersfield tradition, and advocates for education. The company understands the power of the arts to create vibrant communities and has used its buses to enrich the city: “GET believes that by advancing the arts, its current and potential customers will be happier as their lives are bettered through their exposure to art on GET buses.”
Bakersfield has a rich history when it comes to music, having been home to Buck Owens and the Bakersfield Sound. GET used the city’s musical history as inspiration for a mural that wrapped around a commuter coach bus providing service to IKEA. With images depicting Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, the buses are more than basic transportation – they are symbols of Bakersfield pride.
GET also features seasonal buses throughout the year. For Halloween, they commission a sketch, which is then painted by the children of Bakersfield. In November, the bus transforms into the “Reading Express,” a traveling library that visits daycares and Head Start programs. In December, the company commissions artist murals for the annual Christmas Parade. The sketches are once again painted by families and friends, bringing the whole community together.
From community activities to community pride, GET has successfully integrated the arts into its brand. Its partnerships with local organizations have put the company in the spotlight. It has become more than simply
Photo courtesy of Golden Empire Transit