Our buses have been named after notable deceased people with a connection to the area since 1999. The idea originated with the company's Operations Director, Paul Williams, as the first double deck low-floor buses were due to be delivered. He suggested they be named after notable landmarks as a way of creating interest.
Like all good ideas, once it had been nurtured it became even better - in this case by using bus fronts to honour notable names from local history. After all, landmarks might confuse passengers that the bus would travel to them, whereas the buses are given a real human feel by using names.
So since 1999, every new bus that has entered the fleet has been named after a deceased person. The main criterion for inclusion is that the deceased person made a significant contribution to the area or had a strong connection during their lifetime. As more contemporary names have been suggested another criteria is that the person has been deceased for at least a year.
Suggestions are regularly submitted to be included, often with helpful biographic details and even photographs and these are all very much welcomed and are safely kept and logged in our pending files for consideration each time new buses are delivered.
With the delivery of the new Coaster buses we had a Facebook vote on the naming of 12 of them as other names were ones selected for reuse, this generated a lot of interest and we hope to do that again for the next batch of new buses.
After the project began in May 1999, the promoters of Brighton Marina's Walk of Fame suggested that some of the celebrities being honoured in paving stones in the Marina could also have a bus named after them. For a few years single deck buses on the Metro 7 route to the Marina each carried a local celebrity name included in the Walk of Fame but this practice ceased when those buses were sold.
Money has also been raised for local charities by auctioning off a bus name to appear for a short period of time and special names have been carried to honour the league winning Albion teams and also HM The Queen and Prince Philip in their Golden Jubilee year, plus a few other special people that had the honour of their name on a bus for about a year (Adam Trimingham for instance who has been so helpful to us with background information for the project).