Community Outreach



Community Outreach

Understanding the needs and views of all segments of a community’s population can be critical to the development of strategic transportation services that will be both effective and productive.

Community Outreach, Customer-Based Planning and Market Research are intrinsic to our work. To see our experience in these areas, click here and select the appropriate category.

The Transit Marketing team conducts community outreach and involvement efforts in support of transit planning projects, including SRTPs, Coordination Plans, Service Development Plans and Strategic Plans. Our approach to community involvement is extremely proactive, aggressively recruiting participation by individuals, organizations and stakeholders representing all sectors of the community.

Stakeholder/Gatekeeper Interviews

In-depth personal interviews with “gatekeepers” can provide valuable perspectives on the demand for public transit services among various constituencies. They are useful in gauging overall attitudes towards transit; in understanding the transportation needs of various constituencies in relation to public transit; in understanding the pros and cons of an existing service; and in identifying potential marketing partners and channels.

Gatekeepers may include:

  • Frontline staff – drivers, dispatchers and telephone information personnel;
  • Advocates for key transit market segments, such as low-income workers, college students, job seekers, seniors, persons with disabilities, minority communities and others;
  • Representatives of major employers, social service agencies, community organizations and educational institutions;
  • Key community leaders or city staff with interest in public transportation.

Focus Groups

Focus groups are a cost-effective means of exploring the perceptions and attitudes of a specific target group, such as users, potential users, voters or employees. Focus-group meetings with constituents provide a forum for discussing service and marketing efforts that can influence ridership. With both Hugh Clark, Ph.D., and Selena Barlow, M.B.A., experienced focus group moderators, Transit Marketing can provide all of the services necessary for a successful focus group, from recruitment to reporting.

Public Meetings

Public meetings can provide a community-wide view of a transit system as well as specific issues and concerns. However, generating participation in community meetings can be a challenge. Transit Marketing takes an active approach to recruiting attendance, using a variety of tools including news releases, advertising, flyers on buses and at key destinations and coordination with gatekeeper organizations such as social service agencies and schools.

Customer Experience Reviews

Customer experience reviews provide Transit Marketing with firsthand passenger experience of your system. Riding the system as a customer, Ms. Barlow assesses various aspects of the riders’ experience, such as ease of use, comfort, convenience, courtesy, convenience and fare payment. She also examines current communications efforts, including passenger information, signage and promotional and community-outreach efforts from the customer’s point of view.

Field Observation

Similar to the customer experience review, field observation is conducted from the passenger point of view. A Transit Marketing consultant rides the buses and visits key boarding locations, assessing service quality, observing operational issues and talking with passengers and bus operators about how well the system works.