Sponsored by the Department for Transport
This award is designed to recognise radical initiatives which increase patronage and demonstrably achieve modal shift from car to bus. It was open to operators, local authorities, partnerships or other organisations.
The judges were looking for successful innovative promotional ideas which got the message about bus services over to the target market by advertising, PR activity or sales promotion schemes. They were particularly looking for schemes that aimed to achieve modal shift.
The winning entry was the scheme which, in the opinion of the judges, most contributed to improved perception of the bus product in the eyes of non-users.
Winner: Stagecoach R&D Team – ‘Where You Want To Be’
'Where You Want to Be' is a customer acquisition programme, run by Stagecoach's central R&D Team. The programme is aligned to the Business Plans of each Operating Company within Stagecoach.
The team have generated approx. 4.2M additional passenger journeys per annum, 2.95M of which will previously have been made by car. They are currently achieving response rates of 17% (Direct Mail) and 22%(Telemarketing).
The judges were very impressed with the use of the latest marketing techniques in developing this major national initiative. The flexibility of the project in responding to the needs of different areas of the country and in learning lessons about what worked and where was particularly impressive. The judges were also pleased with the fact that, despite being a group initiative, there had been willingness to develop partnerships with local authorities and others at local level.
Runner Up: First UK Bus – ftr
'ftr' is First's initiative that aims to encourage more people to use public transport by altering existing perceptions of buses, combining the quality of a tram with the flexibility of the bus. The first 'ftr' scheme, delivered in York in partnership with the City Council, has delivered year on year passenger growth of 28%.
Although there were some 'teething problems' to start with, the initiative represents a genuine and forward-looking attempt to break new ground in the operation, presentation and marketing of street transit services in the UK.
The response from the public in York, already a fast-growing market, demonstrates that the industry does have the capacity to change public perceptions by high-quality and innovative product design and promotion.
BAA Stansted – Enabling Changing Demand
BAA Stanstead has, for a number of years, pursued an active policy of 'pump-priming' bus and coach services to the airport, for both air passengers and staff.
The result has been the development of an extensive route network and major growth in ridership.
Strong marketing, operator co-operation and an active Site Travel Plan with over 100 airport-based company members have all contributed to the success of the scheme.
BAA has worked very hard in a range of very impressive initiatives with different operators and authorities in the catchment area around the new airport. As a result, it has achieved a very impressive modal share amongst airport users for bus and coach services.
Ipswich Buses – The Ravenswood Project
The early introduction of a bus service into a brownfield residential development has seen substantial and unexpected levels of bus use and lower levels of car ownership and usage.
The industry has long recognised the importance of providing bus services as early as possible to new development areas. However, too often in the past, it has proved difficult or impossible to do this.
The judges were particularly impressed with the hard work put into this scheme by Ipswich Buses and their partners at the Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and the developers, which had resulted in a development which generated much less car traffic than would have been predicted. The judges felt that there were clear and easy lessons to be learned by operators and authorities all round the country from this project.
Kent County Council – Fastrack Bus Rapid Transit
Regeneration of Kent Thameside demanded a service that would transform perceptions of bus travel. With patronage higher than expected, surveys indicating a 19% modal shift and new customers being attracted, this aim has clearly been met. In just over 18 months a comprehensive marketing campaign has firmly established the Fastrack brand locally as representing high quality transport infrastructure and service delivery.
Fastrack represents a forward-looking initiative in developing bus services as a high-quality mode of transport able to deliver attractive services because it has the use of its own track for much of its journey. The partners in the scheme have worked very hard, not always in the easiest of circumstances, to deliver the project, which will be key to the successful development of the Kent Thamesside area.
Nottingham City Transport – Go2 - Nottingham’s Brighter Network
Go2 hit Nottingham's streets in October 2001 to coincide with the introduction of a brand new, colour coded, simplified bus network for the city. Go2 was developed entirely through customer research to reverse 50 year patronage decline and encourage car users to travel by bus. NCT revitalised its bus offer for Nottingham through Go2 - a tram-like bus service - now showing 6% growth.
The judges were impressed by the quality of Nottingham's network, and the hard work which had gone into the design and implementation of the Go2 Network, which has clearly worked alongside the introduction of Nottingham Express Transit to change the market profile of public transport in the city.