Residents won't have to look too hard to spot a county bus in Chester County from now on.

They will just need to glance around for the splash of lime green in the middle of traffic.

The two non-SEPTA bus lines that serve Chester County have been given a makeover and a new name, Chescobus, by the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC).

The changes are an attempt to attract riders and make the four buses more identifiable in a part of the county where there are few mass-transit options.

The refurbished buses sport a bright green hue that is "very current" and distinctive, said John Meisel, TMACC manager of transportation operation and planning.

Both the Link in the Coatesville area and SCCOOT in southern Chester County will fall under the Chescobus name, making it easier for riders to identify buses across the region, Meisel said.

The two lines - with two buses each - go largely where SEPTA buses do not.

"In many cases, Chescobus is a lifeline for county residents," said Randy Waltermyer, Chester County transportation services director.

The need for mass transit in Chester County is growing, too, as the population increases, he said.

More than 5,000 Chester County residents ride the bus on an average weekday, most of them on SEPTA, according to county data. Only about 300 of them ride the Chescobus lines, according to TMACC statistics.

One afternoon last week, the Link bus was empty of passengers on its way from a stop at the Lancaster Hall General Health Center in Sadsbury. It arrived at the Parkesburg library a few minutes later, where the stop - marked by a faded sign attached to a telephone pole - was deserted.

It can be difficult to make public transportation effective in suburban areas where there are fewer centrally located spots for bus stops, said Greg Krykewycz, a manager at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

"It's like a long-term kind of culture change to make transit function better in places like that," Krykewycz said.

The $50,000 upgrade to Chescobus - funded with leftover TMACC money from last year, support from the county commissioners, and funds from the bus vendors - will include new signs at every bus stop, some of which have faded signs or nothing posted at all, Meisel said.

No changes were made to bus routes or schedules.

"We want people to use the service, and we want them to see it," said Tim Phelps, TMACC's executive director. "So you have to spend a little bit of marketing money to get people to recognize that it's there."

Bus schedules are available at www.tmacc.org/chescobus/chescobus-schedules.

jmcdaniel@philly.com

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