Utilizing Information Technology in Innovative Marketing Approaches for Public Transportation

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - travel demand management, planning - marketing/promotion, planning - signage/information, ridership - demand, organisation - management


Handbooks, Information technology, Marketing, Public transit, Social media, Travel demand management, Websites (Information retrieval)


The original objective of this study was to scan the internet and other information technology sources to identify innovative marketing techniques that have been attempted to date by, in and surrounding the public transportation industry, and to solicit ideas for more unconventional applications that transit agencies and TDM professionals can consider. The investigation led to the uses, applications, marketing and communications potential of social media for the public transportation and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) industries. Social media afford low cost, high impact techniques that can be easily and quickly employed to reach target markets and audiences. The study also provides tools, in the form of a guidebook and dedicated website, for transit agencies to use the various social media for their own tailored marketing approaches. Social media tools addressed in the study include social networks, weblogs, audio/video blogs, microblogs, photo and video sharing, and user-generated content. In each, specific examples of applications for the public transit and TDM industries is examined and explained. The guidebook provides clear instructions for how agencies can utilize the media and the projected benefits, and is complete with embedded links to resources and information. There is also a dedicated website, www.gosocialtransit.com, that accompanies the guidebook and provides an overview of each media and links to industry applications.