AC Transit avoids the "build it and they will come" mistake to which many companies and organizations fall prey. They know that simply offering bus service and implementing technology is just the beginning to motivating Bay Area residents to take the bus regularly. They also prove that traditional outdoor advertising can still work brilliantly at the right time and place. This is targeted, visual content marketing at its best.
The San Francisco Bay area boasts excellent public transit systems in the city itself and in surrounding counties. AC Transit is notable not only for a well-run system, but for its effectiveness in marketing the benefits of public transit to its passengers.
AC Transit is the third-largest bus-only transit system in California, serving over 400 square miles of the East Bay. Every weekday, over 230,000 people ride their fleet of nearly 800 buses. They run buses on 105 routes with more than 6500 stops.
Even better, they do a great job of marketing all those buses, stops, and routes to current and future passengers.
We have already written about their wonderful online marketing campaign that paints such a compelling picture of the benefits of bus travel. AC Transit created ACT for Me as “Your Guide to the Future of Public Transit.” They illustrate why AC Transit should be an integral part of your life by sharing a creative range of content—from user-generated videos, to a travel savings calculator, to a discussion of community and environment benefits, and the exciting future of transit. Here’s A Public Agency That Really Understands Content Marketing.
Now they are adding even more value for their customers and continuing their effective campaign in a brand-new way.
Helping Passengers First by Adding Smart Transit Technology—and Then by Enticing Them with Smart Targeted Marketing
AC Transit committed to NextBus to improve bus travel for their millions of annual passengers. This system tells riders exactly when the next bus will arrive—and can even send arrival alerts so passengers never miss a bus. However, they didn’t assume that every rider–or potential rider–would be aware of this new technology nor understand how NextBus could help them
To make the most of their NextBus implementation, they have recently added advertising to their bus shelters. Now, even passersby get the message about how easy it is to use public transit and to stay on time. The bus stop ads illustrate that it’s easy to know when the next bus will arrive by using NextBus technology. They use an image of a rider using a smart phone to access bus data with an additional close-up image of a smart phone and showing a NextBus prediction. Of course, they include the appropriate web address to use so that riders can access the NextBus data immediatel
In this way, AC Transit helps current riders to improve their bus riding experience while providing an easy-to-understand marketing message for folks who may be just beginning to think about taking the bus on a regular basis.
Even in Northern California, it can be difficult to get drivers out of their cars and onto the bus. But AC Transit is doing a stellar job of marketing that is very likely to make that transit transition seem like a very smart idea .