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Public Transportation Promotion Events

Communities across Connecticut are starting to look at public transit in a whole new way — not just as a means of transportation but a lifestyle choice that promotes sustainability, convenience, and connectivity.

Public transit often seems intimidating to those who don’t grow up using it. To gain ridership, people must understand the benefits of using public transit AND gain knowledge in how to use it. Prospective riders often have similar concerns, such as:

  • What options exist?
  • How do I read the schedule?
  • What routes will work best?
  • How do I pay?

They also want to know that public transit is clean, efficient, safe, affordable. Accessing public transit is one of the life skills that all people should learn at an early age.

Hosting regular events to promote the use of public transportation encourages residents to experience the benefits of public transit firsthand. Below are some creative event ideas designed to inspire your community to hop on board!

Action Steps

  1. Gather your team, including representatives from different sectors of the community
  2. Discuss which events might work best for your community. Below are a just a few possibilities.
  3. Work with local businesses and sponsors to offer discounts and other incentives for participants
  4. Use the PACE Community Campaign Planner kit
  5. Promote your event on community social media and websites.
  6. Make it happen!

Deals Just For Transit Riders

Encourage residents to explore various public transit options with exclusive deals and promotions. Offer discounts or free rides on buses, trains, and trolleys for a limited time. Partner with local businesses to provide additional perks such as free coffee, discounted meals, or special offers for transit riders. This initiative not only boosts ridership but also supports local businesses.

Bus & Train Scavenger Hunts

Organize a city-wide scavenger hunt using public transit. Place geoboxes at various bus and train stations, each containing a unique code. Participants must travel by bus or train to find these boxes and scan their transit passes to collect codes. The more codes they collect, the higher their chances of winning exciting prizes. This event is a fantastic way to familiarize residents with the transit system while adding an element of adventure.

Transit Bingo

Create a Bingo game that encourages participants to explore different transit routes and stations. Each Bingo card can have squares with various tasks such as “Ride the bus to Central Park,” “Take the train to Main Street Station,” or “Visit three different bus stops.” Participants can mark off squares as they complete each task, and those who complete a line or full card can win prizes. This game is a great way to make using public transit fun and engaging.

Transit Tours

Create interesting, themed tours (great food or historic sites or art) with experienced tour guides who can share information not only about the theme but about using public transit successfully.

Ride & Read

Partner with local libraries and bookstores to create a “Ride & Read” program. Place free books or e-book download stations at transit stops and on vehicles. Encourage riders to read during their commutes and offer a reading challenge with rewards for those who read the most books in a month. This event combines the love of reading with the convenience of public transit.

Transit Trivia Challenge

Host a trivia game focused on public transportation, local history, and transit facts. Set up trivia stations at major transit hubs or organize an online trivia night. Participants can join in by answering questions and earning points for correct answers. Offer prizes for the top scorers to encourage participation. This event not only promotes public transit but also educates the community about its benefits and history.

Art on the Move

Transform transit vehicles into moving art galleries. Partner with local artists to display their work on buses and trains. Host an “Art on the Move” event where residents can hop on board to view and appreciate local art. This initiative supports the arts community and enhances the aesthetic appeal of public transit.

Community Storytelling

Create a platform for residents to share their experiences and stories about using public transit. Host storytelling sessions at transit hubs or online, where people can narrate their most memorable transit moments. Compile these stories into a digital book or blog to celebrate the diverse experiences of the community. This event fosters a sense of connection and highlights the human aspect of public transit.

Taking Action

Townwide

STUDY

PLAN

DO

>Vehicle Inventory

>Transp. Infrastructure Assmt.

>

>Transportation Plan

>Funding Options

>

>Education

>Policy Making

>Installation

Municipal

STUDY

PLAN

DO

>Town Fleet Assessment

>VMT Assessment

>EV Chargers Siting Assessment

>Vehicle Replacement Schedule

>VMT and Idling Reduction Plan

>Funding Options

>Charging Station Installation

>Fleet Conversion

>Employee Training

As with other areas of the 100PercentCT project, the strategy for transportation is to quantify current energy usage, reduce it, then replace remaining energy use with clean alternatives. The Benchmark Energy Assessment provides a starting point for this analysis. Using town-specific data from the tax roll, this analysis yields an estimate of the energy consumed by vehicles registered in town. This calculation entails summarizing the community’s fleet of vehicles by Connecticut Class Code and then using Department of Transportation estimates for miles per gallon (MPG) and vehicle miles travelled (VMT).

This quantitative assessment focuses on the current vehicle fleet of your town. The next step is a qualitative review of transportation systems other than motor vehicles. These should include bus systems, trains and other public conveyances in the community.

These quantitative and qualitative assessments then form the basis for a range of policies, regulations and initiatives aimed at reducing energy usage and emissions, and then replacing them with clean energy alternatives.

  • Complete a quantitative energy benchmarking exercise for your town’s vehicle inventory. The Resource section below provides a link to the data request from the town tax roll to get started.
  • Carry out a qualitative assessment of public transit infrastructure, bicycle/pedestrian resources, etc.
  • Develop a town-specific plan, as part of the broader Energy Plan, to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT), shift transport to public alternatives and accelerate the transition to low and zero-emission vehicles.
  • Electrify town vehicle fleet. Municipalities can accomplish several goals by electrifying their fleet – first they are leading by example – second they will achieve operating economies because of reduced fuel consumption and decreased maintenance requirements.
  • Consider deploying all-electric municipal or school buses (see resources below).
  • Conduct a study of your town’s electric vehicle readiness. An excellent resource here is the detailed study carried out in Fairfield.
  • Assess your town’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Readiness Scorecard, administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Assess where electric vehicle charging infrastructure is needed in town and develop a plan for building it out.
  • Add additional charging stations on municipal properties.
  • Consider property tax incentives for electric vehicles.
  • Require new construction to be EV-Ready.
  • Educate residents about local public transportation options.
  • Implement the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets
  • Achieve bronze certification as a Bicycle Friendly Community from the League of American Bicyclists.
  • Encourage commuting by entering the CTRides Transportation Leaders Program.
  • Explore opportunities to expand local bike/pedestrian trails.
  • Conduct a no idling campaign.

Resources

Checklist

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