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Take a 'peak' at SAM's new mountain look

by: contributed graphic, A graphic wrap will turn SAM buses into 35-foot murals of the view from Jonsrud Viewpoint.

Soon, it'll be a lot harder to miss the bus, thanks to a new graphic look approved by the Sandy City Council this week.

When Sandy's two new Gillig buses arrive in town this August, they'll be sporting a 35-foot-long panorama of the view of Mount Hood from Jonsrud Viewpoint. The buses will be painted light blue, creating the image of a clear sky above the mountain.

The SAM logos will remain on the front and back of the buses, so riders may still be able to easily spot them as they approach. Flashing 'yield' signs on the back of the bus legally compel drivers to allow it to merge back into traffic.

'We're really excited about the new look,' City Transit Manager Julie Stephens said. 'It gives the system a sense of place. It should give everyone in town a sense of pride and excitement when they look at them.'

The cost estimate for the graphic package is $8,000 per bus, versus $2,000 for the current style, however most of the cost is covered by grant funds, so it doesn't affect the city budget.

Existing buses won't receive the new wraps, since it is more cost-effective to put the graphics on during the purchasing process.

The new buses will become the primary vehicles for SAM's Gresham to Sandy operation, replacing the two aging white 'workhorses' that currently make the run. Those buses would be used as backups.