Metra today announced it is seeking an “Official Rideshare Partner” as part of a new marketing partnership to provide service for our customers while generating non-fare revenue for the agency.
As part of an invitation for bids (IFB) issued today, Metra will allow the entity that provides the highest submittal price to include their name on a wide range of promotional materials, including posters displayed at train stations and on Metra trains, timetables, mailing inserts and advertisements in marketing emails and at ticket office windows.
In addition, the partner’s message and logo would be included on Metra’s website, social media channels and customer newsletter. The partner will also be granted access to distribute promotional information at four of Metra’s downtown stations and 25 outlying stations.
"Now more than ever, it’s essential that we look for creative ways to generate revenue that can impact our agency’s bottom line while keeping fare increases as low as possible,” said Metra Executive Director/CEO Don Orseno. “We will continue to search for management efficiencies and new ways to maximize our existing resources to help balance our budget.”
This first-time, all-inclusive partnership will also represent an important step to help solve the “first mile-last mile” challenge, in which a customer’s beginning and final destination to and from a Metra station is just beyond a reasonable walk. Including a rideshare partner (also known as a transportation network company) to work with Metra will provide a mutually beneficial sales channel for a rideshare provider to build a critical mass of potential users, with Metra providing them a robust list of benefits to communicate directly to a customer base of 150,000 daily Metra riders.
If a bid is accepted by Metra, the partnership would be for a three-year period beginning in 2017 with as many as two one-year renewal options. Prospective partners include rideshare companies, as well as companies that provide taxi and car-sharing services.
A pre-bid meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Metra’s headquarters at 547 West Jackson Blvd. in Chicago on August 9, 2016. Bids will be opened on August 24, 2016. The winning bidder will be selected based on price and the prospective partner’s product, service, image and financial ability to support the submittal price. Metra reserves the right to reject any bids.