Denver's Regional Transportation District (RTD)’s “Train to the Plane” marketing and communications campaign for its University of Colorado A Line service received APTA's AdWheel Grand Award.
This campaign — designed to increase service awareness, educate the public about commuter rail, promote grand opening events, and encourage ridership — resulted in over 255 million multimedia impressions over a three-month period, drew 100,000 people to opening events and introduced the phrase "Train to the Plane" into the public lexicon. The efforts were illustrative of the extensive, thoughtful campaigns RTD introduces when offering new public service.
“We are honored to receive this award that nationally recognizes the creative work of our communications team,” said CEO/GM Dave Genova. “The bold blue train design and tagline, ‘Train to the Plane’ really resonated with the entire Denver metro region.”
News coverage was provided internationally and ruled the market. In addition, RTD has seen a 30% increase over ridership projections since opening. Ridership on the University of Colorado A Line has reached 22,500 on an average weekday as of August 2017.
Eleven winners were chosen by APTA during their annual meeting in Atlanta this week. The awards recognize APTA member public transportation systems and business members for their outstanding marketing and communications campaigns.
"I am pleased to recognize the 2017 AdWheel Award winners, who have advanced public transportation with their exceptional marketing and communications efforts," said APTA Acting President/CEO Richard A. White. "These eleven Grand Award winners showed the strategic value of communications and marketing within the public transportation industry by boosting ridership and increasing support, as well as accomplishing key organizational goals."
RTD competed with nearly 350 entries, evaluated by more than 100 industry experts. Awards were presented in three categories: efforts to increase ridership or sales, efforts to highlight transit needs and funding, and educational efforts. Honors were awarded in four groups, based on system size.
The RTD's buses, rail lines, shuttles and additional services provide 100 million annual passenger trips in the Denver metro region.