Laketran Adventures in Commuting Park-n-Ride campaign

Target Audience: Laketran serves Lake County, Ohio a suburban community 30 miles east of revitalizing downtown Cleveland. Journey to Work census data shares that just over 5,000 Lake County residents commute into downtown Cleveland daily. Laketran currently serves 10-12% of that market share with Park-n-Ride service that offers 18 daily departures from nine Park-n-Ride locations to help mitigate traffic congestion. The other 88% of Cleveland commuters driving their cars to work or college is our target audience for this campaign.

Strategy Objective:The goal of the Adventures in Commuting campaign was to bring awareness of route changes and the Bus on Shoulder program to the commuter market to gain new riders. The campaign ran for six weeks in November and December, then again in early 2016. The mix-media campaign included a digital (display and audio), print, radio, and a Facebook campaign geo-targeted to Cleveland commuters. The digital and radio ad's call to action led listeners to a form for a free ride at Laketran.com/freeride. The radio strategy was to reach commuters while stuck in traffic congestion explaining by taking Laketran we can handle the hassles of commuter. Digital and social media ads were chosen because click-through traffic is quickest and easiest way to access online form for free ride.

Situation Challenge: Over 95 percent of Laketran's Park-n-Ride ridership is commuting to work in Cleveland from Lake County. With the mass retirements of baby boomers and the millennial generation relocating to urban core of resurging downtown Cleveland, plummeting gas prices and encouragement of telecommuting, Laketran's Park-n-Ride growth has steadily declined the past 18-24 months, with many months of double digit losses. After realigning the routes to new demand, Laketran decided to create a multi-media campaign to promote how Park-n-Ride can relieve you from the "Adventure in Commuting" by avoiding fender benders, snow, and construction by leaving the driving to us! Laketran also launched a Bus on Shoulder program at the same time to improve on-time performance and add additional benefits to the service.

Results Impact: With nearly 700 visit to www.laketran.com/freeride between January-October 2016, Laketran Park-n-Ride has finally "end the curse" of 18 months of declining ridership. Partially due to some additional service we put on for in June for the Cleveland Cavaliers Championship Parade, but month to month ridership comparisons show a ridership increases offering standard Park-n-Ride in August, September and October.

Why Submit: Adventures in Commuting campaign was a fun radio, display, and print campaign that focused leads to our new website that offered riders a free ride. The marketing efforts plateaued 18 months of declining ridership and in recent months has shown a ridership increase. The campaign also informed riders of new Bus on Shoulder program that has reduced complaints being received by car drivers when they see a bus pass them on the shoulder. We used these complaints as an opportunity to offer a free ride to try the service. The other benefit of this campaign is its timeless. If we're having Snowbelt winter weather, you can use the snow spot or if there's a large construction project, the construction spot can be released again.