Ride & Shine Campaign to build discretionary ridership

Target Audience: The Ride & Shine campaign was developed to build discretionary ridership, across 16 unique routes including Bus, SkyTrain and RapidBus. The campaign was built to target post secondary students and young professionals, current customers who weren't using public transit for key discretionary trips, former and new riders who were open to unique offers, cost savings and environmental messaging and those who lived and worked along the campaign routes.

Strategy Objective:Ride & Shine was developed to encourage customers to use transit and have a car-free summer. The objective was to reach 80% of pre-pandemic ridership levels by the end of 2022. This campaign drove ridership by positioning transit as the most convenient way to see the region's top summer spots. The message was further incentivized with offers through a partnership with Destination Vancouver's top attractions, culinary experiences, museums and galleries. Route-specific campaigns were developed that promoted a destination and highlighted why transit was the best option which ran across geofenced digital ads and targeted out-of-home. Partnership offers ran across the system and through partner channels. Community outreach helped enhance the campaign in person with promotions and activations.

Situation Challenge: Before the pandemic, TransLink was moving 500,000 people daily. Covid-19 restrictions led to ridership dropping by 83%. After two years focused on safety and reconnection strategies, ridership was seeing improvements, but continued to sit below pre-pandemic levels. The slow recovery of ridership could be attributed to riders' personal choices, comfort levels, and a shift in requirement to travel. As TransLink relies heavily on fare revenue, with 57% of revenue generated from fares, and research showing the strongest return coming from leisure travel, finding a way to promote transit as the best choice for leisure trips, could in turn increase ridership. With these insights in mind coupled with a partnership to support tourism and the leisure travel sector, TransLink launched Ride & Shine.

Results Impact: » Ridership increased by 10% to over 80% pre-pandemic levels » TransLink had the strongest ridership return across all transit systems within North America » On weekends, ridership on the Point of Interest (POI) routes was higher than system-wide » Boardings at the POIs grew 14.5% on weekdays and 3.5% on weekends » The campaign delivered over 2.7 million video views and 13 million website impressions » 32 transit partner incentive offers to transit riders were secured earning 700K+ impressions, clicks and engagements to partner's sites. » Over 40,000 people boarded the Outreach Bus at 30+ events – earning media, hundreds of thousands of impressions

Why Submit: In 2022 it appeared the pandemic was easing. However, this did not mean the challenges facing Metro Vancouver residents were over. With gas prices rising, increased traffic and a growing climate emergency, this pushed the region to reconsider how they travel. The Ride & Shine campaign was developed to show residents' ways to explore the region using transit while also supporting destinations and local businesses. The strategy for this program, targeting key routes and geo fencing proved to be successful in delivering messages that resonated with customers and community partners. The campaign supported TransLink's top ridership metric, exceeding the year-end ridership projection before Q4, putting TransLink as a leader in ridership recovery, delivering the strongest return in North America