Connecting rural residents with changing public transportation options.​

Public transportation is a vital resource to many Americans, with the majority of its systems serving the country’s rural communities (1,308 rural versus 945 urban public transport systems). These smaller rural systems serve as lifelines for communities across the United States, including Nevada County, where nearly 70% of its residents live in unincorporated portions of the county. (Source: Nevada County Executive Report)

Nevada County, a thriving set of communities nestled in the foothills of Northern California, centered between the Sacramento Region and Lake Tahoe had a fairly well-utilized but outdated public transportation system, looking to refresh its image and increase ridership, leaving behind its outdated Gold Country Stage name and branding.


To figure out how to solve the system’s outdated branding and perception challenges, we had to immerse ourselves in the community and the experience of riding Gold Country Stage. 

Beyond our usual research, our team took a boots on the ground approach, riding every fixed route line and exploring the on-demand services throughout the county. With a vision to align the brand’s simplicity and efficiency with an updated map and signage, 3fold embarked on a creative journey to revolutionize the way Nevada County Connect communicated with its riders and the community at large. We focused on:

  • Streamlined simplicity: Significantly reducing the visual “clutter” displayed on original maps and embracing the minimalist essence of the brand to enhance clarity
  • Consistent integration: Leveraging the stylistic elements of the updated map to promote Nevada County Connects across various platforms to create cohesive brand messaging
  • Brand Perception: Few residents were aware that Gold Country Stage was a public service of Nevada County and negatively affected their perception of the former brand

16% +

After rebranding, Nevada County Connects ridership increased 16% in 2022.

"Working with 3fold Communications has been a fantastic experience. We hired them for a transit system marketing project which included the development and implementation of a community-based initiative.

Throughout the project Carolyn provided great leadership and direction when our team was unfocused, laughter when enduring design challenges, and an understanding of our diverse local culture and how that is driving the project. 3fold was the perfect partner for our proiect."


Let’s talk about your community and how we can help you reach it.

3fold Communications is a community connection marketing agency specializing in recruitment and activation of diverse customers, regions, and influencers.
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