Making Transit Sexy
Rides in the City section of the Arlington County transit promotion website.
Today's Examiner also reports, in "Rides made easier in the city: Arlington fem's column remarks on D.C. transport" about another transit marketing innovation from our friends in Arlington County.
A long time ago, I read the book Strategic Marketing for Not-For-Profit Organizations by the U of Michigan Social Work professor Armand Lauffer. One of the concepts that has stuck with me over the years is that organizations have three publics:
1. The input public that provides the organization with resources;
2. The throughput public that does the work of the organization; and
3. The output public to whom the organization's activities are directed.
Transit marketing, promotion, and publicity has at least two different segments of "output publics" -- (1) the people who are interested and involved in the planning issues around transportation and (2) the people that "consume" transit services.
DC's DDOT website is really about the first segment, while Arlington County's Commuter Page is about promoting transit usage. Frankly, the former group, the citizens and other stakeholders interested and involved in the planning issues around transportation should really be considered part of the "throughput public" anyway...
Both publics need information, but we are not serving the transit consumers very well. Compare Arlington's webpage on car sharing vs. DC's. As one of the movie chains says in the advertising that scrolls on the screen before the movie starts "there is a difference..."
Or with Flexcar or Zipcar you can share a car with many others.