Management & Operations

CARTA’s Marketing Campaign Targets Young Riders

Posted on May 22, 2000

In a marketing campaign designed to appeal to younger riders, the Charleston (South Carolina) Area Regional Transportation Authority distributed “Born to Ride” temporary tattoos, offered free shuttle service to concerts and set up a Website. The tattoos doubled as free bus passes and advertising for them read, "At last, a tattoo I can show my parents" and "Finally, a bus pass I can’t lose." Everyone from the mayor to bus operators was wearing them. "We want to attract a younger ridership, individuals who don’t necessarily normally ride the bus," said Howard Chapman, executive director of CARTA. "We want to present buses as an alternative to cars." The primary ridership of CARTA, which began revenue service in January 1999, is elderly and captive riders. In its first year, it carried 3.8 million riders. Chapman said he hopes this marketing strategy will increase that number 10-15%. An improvement in the number of student riders has already been seen, with a 50% increase last semester in the amount of student passes distributed. David Rawle, chairman of Rawle-Murdy Associates Inc., which developed the campaign, said he believes younger riders are more likely to change their habits to ride public transportation. "The challenge is to get people who don't have to use it to use it," Rawle said. "We developed a personality that is not the typical institutional image of mass transit." The goal of the campaign was to build awareness of CARTA and to change perceptions of public transportation, Rawle said. "We want to make people think about CARTA in new and interesting ways," Rawle said. He recommends other transit agencies take a more non-traditional approach when developing marketing campaigns. "I definitely urge them not to take themselves so seriously," Rawle said. "Give the people a good time, then people will want to be with you." The cost of running the campaign, which began in the end of 1999, is $400,000. Other marketing promotions developed by Rawle-Murdy include: Rack 'n Ride, which placed bike racks on the front of all CARTA buses; celebration of CARTA's first birthday, when riders brought in an advertisement for that event in exchange for a free ride; and providing riders with coffee and candy. In addition to its new campaign, CARTA constantly improves routes and schedules to retain its existing riders, Rawle said.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

NorthEast Charter joins IMG network

The company joins IMG’s Cyr Bus Lines in serving the state of Maine and surrounding areas.

TriMet's GM McFarlane to retire

He led the expansion of TriMet’s light rail system, which has become a national model for integrating land use and transportation planning, policy and development.

Nashville mayor unveils $5.2 billion transportation plan

It includes 26 miles of Nashville’s first-ever light rail system, four rapid bus routes, a dramatic increase in the service and frequency of the bus system, and a strategy of service and infrastructure improvements.

RATP Dev North America adopts one brand

Rebranding of McDonald Transit and RDMT simplifies client interactions by immediately connecting clients to the parent company in North America.

MV Transportation names IT exec to CEO post

Kevin Jones joins MV from DXC Technology, a publicly traded IT services company, where he served as sr. VP and GM of the Americas region.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close