Greater City Providence

Marketing public transit: Los Angeles

Marketing public transit: Los Angeles

LA Metro: Promoting Mass Transit from EMBARQ Network on Vimeo.

The City Fix takes a look at Los Angeles’ successful campaign to rebrand and market their transit agency, Metro.

Through marketing and branding campaigns, Metro is working to change public opinion of the transit system. And it is working; discretionary ridership (people who have the option to commute by car, but choose transit) has increased from 24% to 36%.

The common perception is that money spent on marketing would be better spent on the transit systems themselves. The problem with this line of thinking is that it is short sighted. Over time, a sustained investment in marketing increases the number of people who use transit. Increased ridership leads to increased revenue and, ideally, an increase in service to match the new demand.

The Metro Transit Study should add a line item for marketing. These days, marketing can be done on the cheap with social media and just by creating collateral and putting it out there for people to take and use.

Jef Nickerson

Jef is Greater City Providence's co-founder, editor, and publisher. He grew up on Cape Cod and lived in Boston; Portland, Maine; and New York before settling in Providence. In addition to urbanism, Jef is interested in art, design, and ice cream. Please feel free to contact Jef if you have any question or comments about Greater City Providence.

1 comment

  • That is exactly what RIPTA is trying to do with branding lines by color or some other method.

    Of course they don’t advertise all that much. But they do have strong branding, all services except RIDE use the RIPTA logo.

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