Rio Metro RTD Seniors 60+ Ride Free on Wednesdays

Target Audience: The target was Adults 55 to 65+ with a skew towards Females. The thought was that seniors over 60 often have friends who are younger who would also see the video and pass on the message.

Strategy Objective:The campaign was designed to promote the reduction in age of our Seniors 62+ Ride Free on Wednesdays program. By lowering the age to 60+ it would align us with other transit systems in the area who had lowered their senior age to 60+. It would also give more seniors an opportunity to ride the train free on Wednesdays and result in an uptick in ridership. The concept of "Wednesday's Girl Club" for the video spun from the title of the program and finding the right women for the commercial then became easier. They had to be spirited individuals, active and love to get together with friends. The bonus was that the women, all over 60, didn't look their age!

Situation Challenge: The Rail Runner had suspended service for almost a year due to COVID-19. In an effort to encourage ridership, lowering the senior age and marketing to this audience that we were confident would ride the train as they had in the past was a clear option. A Rail Runner pass allows for free bus transfers, and since several other transit agencies had reduced their senior age to 60+, it would simplify the steps for seniors on Wednesdays with the same age.

Results Impact: The campaign started April 2022 and ran for 12 weeks. The video aired on three broadcast television stations for a total of 4,229,200 impressions. It also aired on cable and streaming networks. The ad buy targeted specific zones that fit closely with the communities along the Rail Runner 100 mile corridor. The total number of spots (4,053) spread over 15 to 20 networks per zone garnered 3,715,534 impressions. The video was uploaded to our YouTube Channel with 387 views to date. The programs and air times selected for the schedule between broadcast and cable reached 74% of Adults 55 to 65+ in the DMA with a combined total of 7,944,540 impressions. Seniors riding free on Wednesdays was a program implemented six years ago, and this year, ridership is on track to meet pre-COVID numbers.

Why Submit: When the Rail Runner resumed full service in May 2021, one of the common questions asked of Customer Service was whether seniors 62+ would still be able to ride free on Wednesdays. The program was still in place, and seniors were back specifically riding the train on Wednesdays, but we didn't promote it knowing the plan was to start the campaign with the reduced age of 60+ in February 2022. From February to March, promoting the lower age through other media, ridership of seniors on Wednesdays began to increase, and with the airing of the video in April, it jumped by 227%! The upward trend continues making this not just an impactful video, but also a tremendous successful program.