Evaluating the effectiveness of public transport publicity


M Shields

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro


Publicity campaigns, of any type, are usually costly. Also, public transport operators and authorities, whether governmental or private, operate with very restrictive budgets, and especially when it comes to publicity. These are strong reasons to assure the effectiveness of publicity campaigns. This paper reports on a relatively simple and low cost method for evaluating the effectiveness of a publicity campaign. This is by means of indicators that can be derived from small sample surveys carried out after the campaign. The work reported on herein was done at the Madrid public transport authority (CTM), and was partially financed by the European Union under the CAMPARIE Project. This project had the basic objectives of: surveying present strategies for using information and publicity in encouraging public transport use, development of a case-base computer tool (MIRTO) that public transport agencies can use to develop publicity campaigns, and developing and testing of evaluation methods. This paper concentrates on the last of these objectives, that of evaluation in general and CTM's experience in particular. The Madrid case study, within the CAMPARIE Project, was in relation to a publicity campaign carried out for the opening of a new Metro line in November 1998. Two small sample 'before' and 'after' surveys were carried out, which were used to obtain data for evaluating the effectiveness of the publicity. Evaluation indicators were developed based on previous work carried out in Nantes, France. Further evaluation was made by comparing transport model data to line count data obtained shortly after the opening of the line. Final comparisons were made with other publicity campaigns (both public transport and non public transport in France and Spain).


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.