Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Can the Bus Be Sexy?

Transit agencies are increasingly turning to branding and advertising to improve their images. But can conservative bureaucracies embrace what it means to be "cool"? More importantly, can they attract riders?
October 12, 2014, 1pm PDT | Josh Stephens | @jrstephens310
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
Roman Pavlyuk

"Today, transit agencies are abandoning the passive approach to ridership. A confluence of design technologies, communication technologies, new trends in urban development and—perhaps most importantly—a cultural shift among young, smartphone-wielding city-dwellers has led to a new, more sanguine approach to the promotion of transit."

"From the standpoint of corporate culture, getting transit agencies to embrace innovative marketing techniques entails a serious shift of gears. For most of their history, transit agencies have focused on service and on the maddeningly complex tasks of routing, scheduling, and deployment. Managers at many transit agencies have, historically, cared more about whether buses arrive at their stops on time than about how many people get on."

“'You can’t brow-beat people into taking transit,'” said Darrin Nordhal, author of 'Making Transit Fun!: How to Entice Motorists from Their Cars (and onto their feet, a bike, or bus).' Rather than appeal to the public’s sense of altruism, agencies must, he said, appeal to their sense of hedonism: 'Take it because it’ll be fun. It can add joy to your life and give you time for other things that you find delightful.'”

Full Story:
Published on Saturday, October 11, 2014 in InTransition Magazine
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email