Management & Operations

TriMet to reach customers via TV service

Posted on November 19, 2007 by METRO Staff

Searching for a new way to communicate with its large 20- to 30-year-old demographic, Portland, Ore.-based TriMet has launched TriMet TV.

Launched in October, TriMet TV provides relevant and timely features about transit programs, services and amenities, all generated in-house by the agency and available on its site, as well as for download on YouTube and iTunes.

“We have a lot of choice riders and a lot of those choice riders are younger people, who for environmental reasons and lifestyle reasons don’t want to own a car or at least don’t drive very often,” said Carolyn Young, TriMet’s executive director, communications and technology. “They also all have iPods and laptops, so we thought this would be a great way to communicate with them.”

Young adds that to this point the idea has been a success, garnering interest from passengers who blog on its Website — creating a positive buzz for both the agency and its customers. In the opening month, TriMet was even mentioned as “new and notable” in iTunes’ government section, creating quick positive feedback for the agency and its employees.

The whole project has been on a shoestring budget of less than $4,000, Young explains, with the agency only needing to invest in a camera, editing software and two film students who work as interns. Young adds that they have also been fortunate to utilize two staff members with radio and television experience, who work as in-house writers.

The first three programs produced included a “What is TriMet TV?” segment and two segments on the progress of its light rail project. The agency plans on creating programs on a whole host of topics, including additional construction updates on the I-205/Portland Mall light rail project and Washington County commuter rail; rider basics, including how to ride and buy tickets and passes; and bus line profiles, including unique stops and interviews with riders and operators.

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