As of October 1, 2016, the SWUTC concluded its 28 years of operation and is no longer an active center of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The archived SWUTC website remains available here.

72196-1 Report Abstract

Optimizing Route-Specific Marketing Strategies to Increase Public Transit Ridership

Carol A. Lewis and Naomi W. Ledé, Texas Southern University, March 1994, 58 pp.

Increasing the number and retention of new riders is a primary goal of public transit agencies. As consumers become more accustomed to the influence of advanced technology in their work at home environments, the question can be raised about the kind of transit marketing that will appeal to this contemporary audience. Most transit properties indicate that route specific marketing is more effective than “system focused” efforts. Yet, agencies spend a large amount on system wide techniques. This study tests the efficacy of selected marketing strategies for optimizing public transit patronage.

This study examines system wide and route-oriented marketing strategies to enhance and improve potential patron response in public transit. Several phases of the research were performed concurrently utilizing a comprehensive and two-stage research design.

The test cases and surveys were conducted on the campus of a University in a large urban area. Phase I involved a survey of the travel modes and attitudes of a portion of the faculty, staff and students. Phase II was a focus group which was queried on various marketing techniques.

The study found that both system wide and route specific marketing can be attractive to non-transit users, depending on the message conveyed.

Keywords: Systemwide Marketing; Route Level Marketing; Marketing Strategies; Marketing to Increase Ridership

SUMMARY REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 3.3 MB)