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Christopher MacKechnie

Transit Marketing

By June 5, 2011

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The Embarq corporation has recently put out a new overview of transit marketing techniques. For a concise review of it, see here . For the complete report, go here .

The major take-home point is that the most important component of transit marketing is to develop a strong brand . In this respect transit is no different from Microsoft, UPS, or any other company. Since so many transit systems have "metro" somewhere in the title, this can be somewhat difficult. Obviously systems like the London Underground and the New York MTA have very recognizable brands, and both agencies make a lot of money selling themed memorabilia like New York's subway line teddy bears. What about the others? Some of my favorite system brands are:

Indianapolis, IN's Indigo. Great name, poor service. Are you in an indigo mood because your bus never showed up?

LYNX in Orlando, FL. Another cat oriented name is CAT in Las Vegas. Does your bus arrive and pay attention to you at it's own fickle pace like a cat?

A.C. Transit in Oakland, CA. Is it the Saved By the Bell nostalgia that attracts me to this name?

SMART in suburban Detroit, MI with the slogan "Ride SMART."

The Met in Melbourne, Australia. Makes taking transit sound as sophisticated as a night at the opera.

Probably the worst system name I have encountered is Cheyenne, WY's "Cheyenne Transit Program." Maybe it is time to drop the program, as even food stamps now come on sleek looking debit cards so you can hide your poverty from others.

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