A Handbook: Using Market Segmentation to Increase Transit Ridership

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, mode - subway/metro


Boise Urban Stages, Case studies, Definitions, Government, Handbooks, Implementation, Markets, Milwaukee County Transit System, Private enterprise, Problem identification, Procedures, Public transit, Ridership, Segmentation, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority


This handbook will be of interest to transit managers, marketing professionals, planners, and others interested in the potential implementation of market segmentation strategies to increase transit ridership. Market segmentation is the identification of groups of people--or market segments--that have similarities in characteristics or needs who are likely to exhibit similar purchase behavior and/or responses to changes in the marketing mix. This handbook provides an overview of market segmentation--what it is and why it is relevant to public transit agencies. It serves as an introduction for managers to the basic concepts and approaches of market segmentation and provides steps and procedures for marketers or market researchers who have the responsibility for implementing a market segmentation program. The handbook places special emphasis on issues that must be addressed when using market segmentation, procedures and terminology that one may encounter in connection with segmentation, problems likely to arise in implementing segmentation studies, ways to encourage the use of market segmentation at transit agencies, and methods to translate segmentation findings into strategy. Private and public sector examples of market segmentation analyses are used extensively throughout the handbook to illustrate concepts presented. In addition, the handbook provides the results of market segmentation analyses performed as part of this project at three demonstration transit agencies: Boise Urban States, the Milwaukee County Transit System, and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. As a result of these demonstrations, key market segments are identified and reported in the handbook.


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