Dec 2, 2014

Seminar on active marketing

The SmartMove project has shared its methods with an outside audience on January 21 at a public seminar on how rural public transport operators can boost ridership through proactive marketing. The one-day event took place in Krakow, Poland.

Public transport services in many rural and peri-urban areas struggle with challenges related to private car use, changing demographics and reduced budgets.

A seminar organised within the EU-funded SmartMove project has demonstrated how active mobility consulting (AMC), combined with proactive mobility measures, can help to reverse declining ridership on public transport. The guidance was backed up by presentations of several successful campaigns carried out by project partners around Europe.

In the SmartMove project, eight rural and peripheral regions in Europe prepare, implement and evaluate local AMC campaigns in which transport providers reach out to customers to give them tailored information to ensure public transport works for them. The seminar gave operators insights into the demands of today’s travelling public, including people who use public transport and those who don’t. Operators need to know how local residents perceive their services  — including the relative convenience of bus stops and timetables  — in order to adapt those services to new passengers and retain existing users.

The seminar has covered:

  • active mobility consulting (AMC) – a proactive marketing approach in which transport operators reach out to their customers and offer tailored mobility advice;
  • feeder system promotion – enhancing and promoting small, tributory systems that enable customers to travel the “first mile” to access main public transport services; and
  • active measures – helping potential customers to overcome barriers to sustainable mobility choices, such as public transport training for the elderly; smartphone apps; or test rides on electric bikes.

SmartMove has already organised two seminars for the benefit of partners directly involved in the project. These events, covering much of the same ground as the upcoming public seminar, helped partners get started on designing the promotion campaigns to be carried out in their rural or peripheral areas

Photo credit: Nola Bunke