W Brog

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - travel demand management, planning - travel demand management, planning - marketing/promotion, ridership - demand, organisation - management, mode - mass transit


Trip reduction, Travel demand management, Transportation demand management, Transit, TDM measures, Ridership, Public transit, Patronage (Transit ridership), Operational tests, Motivation, Measures of effectiveness, Mass transit, Local transit, Knowledge, Individualized marketing, Effectiveness, Driver experience, Demonstration projects, Cost effectiveness


Recently an international demonstration project was carried out between SOCIALDATA and the International Association of Public Transport to create awareness of an innovative marketing approach to increasing public transport use called "individualized marketing". SOCIALDATA undertook a series of experimental projects designed to prove the effectiveness of subjective perceptions, the so-called "soft policies". The starting point was the recognition that use of public transport is hindered by a lack of experience and motivation to use it. Potential users of public transport were contacted directly with the intent of motivating them to think about their behavior. Then the test groups were thoroughly informed about the public transport and selected test candidates were given a (transferable) ticket to use public transport free of charge for one full month. The experiment was extremely successful: use of public transport for the test group nearly doubled. Next a method was developed allowing the management of projects on the scale of several thousand households. The concept was applied in numerous projects, which all showed the positive results of individualized marketing: a significant increase in the use of public transport. Surplus revenue was available to finance the innovative marketing approach, which has led to a measurable image improvement for public transport and its companies. Therefore, individualized marketing has proved to be a quick, cost-effective method to increase areawide public transport patronage.