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Artistic Bus Plan Spawns Bid Request

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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A local Alaskan transit agency has issued a fishy request for proposals—specifically, the development and application of a salmon-themed graphic design, infused with Northwest Coast Native art characteristics, on one of its buses.

This would be the second salmon bus for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough Transit Department. Bids are due April 9. The entire project—design, materials and painting—is budgeted at $15,000.

Riding the Salmon Bus

The now-iconic salmon bus got its start in 2009, when the transit agency sought a look that would become familiar for visitors. Ketchikan bills itself as "the Salmon Capital of the World."

Salmon Bus - Ketchikan
Ketchikan Gateway Borough Transit Department

The first salmon bus has become a familiar sight for Ketchikan's visitors.

Local artist Ray Troll worked with muralist Guillermo Jauregui to paint the first salmon bus.

Since then, the bus has drawn attention from around the state and the country, officials say. It became the flagship of a new salmon-themed downtown summer shuttle service for cruise ship passengers. During the rest of the year, the bus is brought out on other routes when needed.

Now, the agency is considering naming the line “The Salmon Run.”

Scope of Work

The project calls for an artist or a team of artists with a background in Northwest Coast design and professional commercial painting with the ability to transfer designs onto three-dimensional surfaces.

The bus must be washed, then cleaned with a fast-evaporating, automotive-grade pre-paint cleaner.

Both sides of the bus will be painted with a lettering enamel; the front, back, and top may also be painted if the design calls for it. Designs on top are encouraged, since the top is visible from the upper floors of buildings and docked cruise ships.

Designs on the side windows would require special applications, as to not block visibility. Designs on the doors or the front window are not permitted.

The design must allow room for Borough Transit labels and a future name and logo for The Salmon Run.

Although a goal of the project is to draw attention to local artists, bidders need not necessarily be local, officials say. The transit agency is working with the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council on the project.

The scope of the project suggests a team of three individuals, officials said. Teams may be smaller or larger, but individual duties should be spelled out in writing.

A pre-bid conference was held on March 25.

Reported by Paint BidTracker, a construction reporting service devoted to identifying contracting opportunities for the coatings community.

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Tagged categories: Artists; Bidding; Decorative painting; Design; Government contracts; Mass transit; Public Transit

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