As more and more cities push forward into a more shareable future, public transportation proves itself to be an integral part of the equation. EMBARQ, a project of the World Resources Institute that focuses on sustainable transport, recently issued a new report that looks into the marketing and branding aspects of this particular infrastructure facet. The idea is to provide cities and agencies with tools as they make decisions and implement policies about mass transit with an eye toward increasing public use of the systems.
As it opens a dialogue with municipalities, the report – titled From Here to There: A Creative Guide to Making Public Transport the Way to Go – focuses on three main goals that cities strive to achieve:
1. Attract new users that currently use private transport, such as cars and motorcycles,
2. Retain existing public transport users who might feel compelled to buy a private vehicle, and,
3. Secure political and financial support from government officials.
With those headings set, EMBARQ's study launches into eight consumer-targeted strategies that can and should be applied to public transportation:
* Brand and identity
* Internal communication
* User education
* User information systems
* Marketing campaigns
* Public relations and external communications
* User feedback systems
* Online engagement
Laying out the task at hand, the report explains, “For some time, it has been clear that cities need to create high-quality public transport systems to improve the urban environment. However, not until recently has it become clear that cities must also convince the public that these high-quality systems are in fact high quality.”
The EMBARQ global network catalyzes environmentally and financially sustainable transport solutions to improve quality of life in cities.
Since 2002, the network has grown to include five Centers for Sustainable Transport, located in Mexico, Brazil, India, Turkey and the Andean Region, that work together with local transport authorities to reduce pollution, improve public health, and create safe, accessible and attractive urban public spaces. The network employs more than 100 experts in fields ranging from architecture to air quality management; geography to journalism; and sociology to civil and transport engineering.