Public Transit Has 'Perks' With Loyalty Programs

Posted on May 4, 2016 by Heather Redfern - Also by this author

SEPTA has advertised its "Pass Perks" loyalty program around the system, on vehicles, at  stations, in online ads and on its website.
SEPTA has advertised its "Pass Perks" loyalty program around the system, on vehicles, at  stations, in online ads and on its website.
The benefits of using public transit are many — environmentally friendly, less stressful than driving and no time wasted sitting in traffic, to name a few. For commuters in cities like Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Montreal, there are even more advantages for using transit — discounts at local businesses for using bus/train/trolley passes.  

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s (SEPTA) “Pass Perks” loyalty program was launched by SEPTA’s marketing department in 2006. Pass Perks rewards the Authority’s daily, weekly and monthly pass holders with discounts and special offers for museums, restaurants and shops across the SEPTA service region.  There are even offers for yoga studios, spas and sporting event tickets — which, like using mass transit, are ways to relax while not being stuck in traffic. 


“Pass Perks is a win-win-win for our riders, the Authority and our partners,” said SEPTA Director of Marketing Liz Bradford. “The program allows us to offer something special to those who buy our passes, in many cases for locations they are already patronizing. And for the partners, there is no cost for them to join the program—they just need to be a consumer-oriented business.”

Businesses that enroll as Pass Perks partners are featured on the SEPTA Marketing Department’s popular website, a site dedicated telling the public how to use SEPTA to get to the hottest events and locations around Philadelphia on SEPTA, as well as recent SEPTA news. Pass Perks partners are also promoted on social media.

“We have more than 27,000 likes on the Pass Perks Facebook page and almost 40,000 ISEPTAPHILLY Twitter followers,” said Bradford. “Pass Perks partners are exposed to thousands of current and potential customers with little capital investment on their part. It’s hard to find a good advertising deal like that anywhere else.”


Of course, to ensure that SEPTA pass holders use mass transit to take advantage of the discount offers, helps customers plan their trips on the Authority’s modes.

“We re-launched in February 2016, incorporating the Pass Perks website with our other marketing tools,” said Bradford.  “Now, our riders can access Pass Perks on mobile devices, checking out the deals while on the go. This ease of use will help us grow Pass Perks, introducing it to audiences that might not have been aware of these opportunities.”

With the new website, SEPTA is able to track which offers resonate with pass holders the most. “Our riders like sports — the top three performers were the Phillies, Flyers and Sixers. The Philadelphia Union is also in the top six,” said Bradford. “Based on these data we gather, we can tailor the program to meet our customers’ interests.”  

Heather Redfern is the Public Information Manager for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

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