August 3, 2018
» Metra in Chicago seeks a deputy executive director. [More]
» Ben Franklin Transit, Richland, WA, is looking for a planning & service development director. [More]
» Victor Valley Transit Authority, Hesperia, CA, requests proposals for a battery energy storage and demand response system. [More]
View more Classified Ads »
TO PLACE AN AD: E-mail the requested date(s) of publication to: Mailing address is: Passenger Transport, 1300 I Street NW, Suite 1200 East, Washington, DC 20005. Ad copy is not accepted by phone. DEADLINE: 3 p.m. EST, Friday, one week prior to publication date. INFORMATION: Phone (202) 496-4877.

AdWheel Awards Honor Members for Strategic Accomplishments Through Communications and Marketing

The 2018 AdWheel Awards recognize the strategic importance of marketing and communications projects that advance the organizational goals of APTA members.

Public transportation systems and businesses compete for AdWheel Grand Awards within their peer group, based on annual passenger trips or in the separate business member group. One hundred and ten judges reviewed more than 300 entries this year and 55 first-place winners were narrowed down to eight Grand Award winners, representing the very best across two core categories.

The six public transportation systems and two business members listed below will discuss their winning strategies and accept AdWheel Grand Awards Monday, Sept. 24, during the 2018 APTA Annual Meeting in Nashville.

Efforts to Increase Ridership or Sales

The Waco Transit System (WTS) in Texas won for its campaign targeting residents of rural McLennan County, living outside the urbanized area and eligible for the agency’s fixed-route and demand-response services. Just three months after the launch of the “Anyone. Anywhere” campaign, WTS saw a 44 percent increase in rural ridership compared to the same time period a year prior.

The program grew so much in popularity that WTS was forced to hire additional rural transit drivers to meet the growing demand for service. WTS achieved this through the creation of a high-quality TV commercial and full-length PSA, both produced in music video format. The commercial aired on a local TV station, while the PSA was heavily promoted on social media and widely shared with local partners.

Delaware Transit Corporation earned its Grand Award with the DART First State campaign to increase beach resort transit ridership. The plan featured public relations, social media, print, radio, lifeguard stand and movie theater ads, as well as hotel key cards, bar coasters and table tents. The “DART to” campaign highlighted the various destinations reached by the rebranded Beach Bus and new park-and-rides. With increased public awareness of DART’s Beach Bus service, 2017 saw an unprecedented ­ridership increase of more than 21 percent. As a result, fewer cars were contributing to congestion on beach area roads.

Portland’s Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) designed a campaign to introduce “Hop Fastpass,” the new, regional e-fare system that works on TriMet, Portland Streetcar and C-TRAN. As more public transit agencies look for ways to innovate their fare systems, TriMet is at the forefront with new NFC technology fare instruments.

To match that innovation, TriMet changed its marketing and outreach by going outside the normal marketing scope, by using both traditional media and social media channels; creating opportunities for riders to get free cards at “Hop-Ups” and community events; partnering with community-based organizations for card distribution; and introducing mascots to help spread the message. By adding elements of fun and surprise, TriMet built goodwill throughout the community and helped engage both old and new riders in the adoption of Hop Fastpass.

Motor Coach Industries
sees a public transit future that includes commuters traveling further and working longer with greater mobility issues, which will require a new kind of coach. MCI’s new D 45 CRT LE features a mid-door low entry and adjoining vestibule with seating for five passengers, which speeds loading and unloading of all passengers, including those with mobility devices. MCI kept the new design under wraps until the blue-curtain reveal at APTA’s 2017 EXPO in Atlanta. A four-year undertaking, the secret project included working with BMW Designworks and volunteer members from the disability community in developing the coach.

Educational Efforts

GoTriangle, Research Triangle Park, NC, welcomes an average of 65 new people to the Triangle region every day and the agency knows potential riders often are on the fence about public transit because they don’t know how to get started and aren’t certain of the benefits. The agency wrote and designed its “Ride the Bus” ad to help educate people in the community who have little or no experience with public transit.

Because it’s a fun music video rather than simply an instruction manual, the project appealed to more residents, reaching more than 50,000 people on Facebook alone. The video currently has more than 21,000 views, 200 reactions, 40 comments and 120 shares. GoTriangle hopes to continue using this video as an introduction to the brand and to the simplicity of a bus commute.

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA), Kansas City, MO, partnered with The Kansas City, KS, Public Library to shine a light on public transit, libraries and literacy. KCATA brought the uplifting, positive message of the book Last Stop on Market Street back to the streets. The video comes from a highly prepared one-take shot that surprises an elementary school class with actors and the book’s author speaking to the joy of reading, the importance of community and the beauty inside every child and adult.

The 11-minute film has been screened at several film festivals and across Facebook and YouTube. The video has had 46,894 views, many by groups in classrooms or libraries, as well as more than 700 shares and numerous positive comments.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) realized that dealing with bad rider behavior is one reason people say they don’t use the system. With this campaign, LA Metro staff opted for a creative approach with original characters, “Rude Dude” and “Super Kind,” featured in fun, lighthearted music videos, outdoor ads and social media postings, to draw attention to the most pervasive etiquette problems on the system. Through this comprehensive campaign, Metro educates riders and empowers them to play a crucial role in creating a safe and pleasant rider experience.

The “Metro Manners” campaign videos have been viewed more than five million times across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, including more than 1.5 million views by likely riders. Sentiment analysis has shown a universally positive response with more than 78 percent of social reaction characterized as “joyous,” encouraging an ongoing conversation about rider behavior.

Transit App
reacted to the lack of a real-time transit data feed by developing a novel workaround: a crowdsourced transit tracker. Transit App decided to anonymously request real-time positions from their users’ devices and use that information to extrapolate vehicle positions, then calculate estimated departure times.

The company’s campaign generated citywide awareness and succeeded in creating the first real-time transit data feed in Montréal. User engagement tactics (via gamification features, push notifications and in-app banners) resulted in 325,000 crowdsourced trips in less than a year. On some lines, up to 20 percent of all trips are crowdsourced. This is especially important since real-time transit data has been proven to boost transit ridership. Transit App has expanded upon the Montréal crowdsourcing campaign in other cities, seeing record high engagement rates.

Click here to learn more and view the multimedia submissions for all entries.


What will it take to make the cities of tomorrow both smarter and safer? Building safety into Intelligent Transportation Systems. Intelligent transportation Systems are transforming the way people and goods move through busy cities and traffic corridors. And they’re also paving the way to a safer future. Get the whitepaper to learn more.
« Previous Article
Return to Top
Next Article »

© Copyright American Public Transportation Association
1300 I Street NW, Suite 1200 East, Washington, DC 20005
Telephone (202) 496-4882 • Fax (202) 496-4321
Print Version | Search Back Issues | Contact Us | Unsubscribe
Twitter Flickr Blog YouTube Facebook