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A Direct Marketing Programme for Public Transport (AD PERSONAM)

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The project started from the assumption that in small-medium sized cities it is very difficult to persuade citizens to use public transport (PT), since the use of motorised private transport is still perceived as sustainable. Experience shows that traditional promotional campaigns have scarce impact in changing citizens’ mobility behaviours. Ad Personam intended to promote PT through a Direct Marketing Programme (DMP). In 7 European cities, all citizens have been invited to fill in a questionnaire on their mobility behaviours. Among them, in each city about 1.000 citizens have been selected to take part in the DMP, receiving - thanks to the use of a travel planner - tailor-made PT solutions for their home-workplace journeys and a free of charge card for testing these proposals. The target group was made of employed people,living & working close to a PT stop, no interchanges, using PT max twice a month. The tailor-made journey plans have been tested by the target group during a Local Public Transport Promotional Week. An ex-post analysis evaluated the impact of the campaign, the opinions of the target group about the PT and identified the profile of the potential PT user.

Results

  • The project involved a target group of 5.839 citizens in 7 pilot cities. Each of these people received a tailor-made travel plan and a free of charge card to test it in the framework of the Local Public Transport Promotional Week. 2.671 target group citizens took part in the Promotional Week and 838 became new PT users.
  • Following the promotional initiatives, in each pilot city a telephone survey, addressed to the target group, gave the partners the opportunity to identify the potential user profile: highly educated, woman, Internet user, reading newspapers.
  • The success of the pilot action encouraged the project partners to give a follow-up to Ad Personam. Some partners started other Direct marketing actions during the project duration, all of them are planning new actions to be started in the following months.
  • 29 actors, local authorities, PT companies, Energy agencies, etc. signed the Ad Personam Charter, committing themselves to implement a Direct marketing project, inspired to Ad Personam, on a voluntary basis. Among them, the City of Porto (PT), the City of Forlì (IT), the Hellenic Association of LPT Companies (EL), etc.
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Lessons learned

  • Effectiveness of the Direct Marketing Programme (DMP) and easiness in the repeatability of the action in different countries and cities: all partners agree on the effectiveness of this approach in the promotion of LPT and declare they will implement similar actions in the future.
  • The DMP can be improved in order to increase its impact. It is important to: - concentrate the action in a shorter period - involve all local actors responsible for the LPT - involve local businesses in order to involve more people in the DMP - increase the personalized and individual character of the approach - choose the right period to implement the LPT Promotional Week - increase the duration of the period during which citizens can test for free their tailor-made travel plans.
  • Importance of the Travel Planner and electronic ticketing system for the successfull implementation and follow up of the DMP. These technologies are not conditio sine qua non for the project implementation, but help its development.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

Comune di Modena
Italy
Contact point: 
Name: 
Marco Stancari
Tel: 
+39 059 2032273

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Key documents

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In brief

Duration:
01/10/2008 to 30/09/2010
Contract number: 
IEE/07/557/SI2.499425