on June 23, 2022 Loyalty Customer Loyalty

How To Market To Different Types of Transit Riders

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When you're a business marketing your services, it is important to make sure that you are reaching all aspects of your audience and not solely focusing on just one or two. 

One of the easiest methods for businesses to ensure they’re servicing all customer types is by providing a loyalty program. A key aspect of loyalty programs is the ability to include multiple types of member benefits, perks, and rewards incentives that provide value across a wide range of customers. This allows businesses to reach and connect to more  customer segments and increases their ability to build valuable relationships with these customer groups. 

Customizing Loyalty Programs For Transit Audiences

For the transit industry, their customers typically fall into three different categories of riders:

1. Occasional riders
2. Commuters who ride transit regularly only for work
3. Riders who use transit for multiple purposes

Transit authorities can tailor their loyalty programs towards the different concerns and priorities of these different transit rider types. For example, loyalty programs help build consumer trust, which is important for riders who depend on public transportation to get them where they need to go. A loyalty program can be used to provide rider services, safety updates, and new offers or opportunities that make taking transit more reliable and easy. Most importantly, a loyalty program shows riders that their transit agencies are invested in building long-term relationships with their riders: that they care about their needs and want the rider’s experience to be as enjoyable as possible. 

Tips For Marketing Towards Transit Riders

Transit agencies service an expansive range of customers across varying demographics, locations, lifestyles, and motivations. To build rider loyalty and increase transit use across all these different rider types, transit agencies can utilize loyalty programs in a number of different ways:

Make sure the technology is user-friendly for people who are both from the area or visiting

If the user is not familiar with the routes, times, or procedures then taking public transit can be very confusing or stressful, making it less likely the customer with choose to ride at all. Make sure that your website, mobile app, and station kiosks have very clear instructions right from the start on how to purchase tickets, find the correct station or line, and the boarding processes. It is also helpful to have different options when it comes to buying and scanning tickets. Offering multiple options such as paper and digital ticketing will open up the door to different customer segments to use your services. Similarly, ensure it's easy for riders to enroll and use your loyalty program. If the loyalty program or site is difficult to navigate then the riders might get discouraged and stop participating. 

Promote the importance of public transit

Everyone wants to feel as though they are doing something that is bettering the world around them. More customers are choosing where they shop and who they purchase from based on whether company values align with their own.

A key benefit of public transit is how it helps the environment by reducing the number of cars contributing to pollution. So promoting to customers that their use of public transit contributes to environmental sustainability can be a huge incentive for a lot of people to choose public transit more often. You can further enable riders to track their environmental impact through your loyalty website or app using an interactive module like a mile meter or carbon footprint tracker. 

Promote monetary benefits of using transit

People love incentives especially when they can earn rewards from something they do on an everyday basis. For riders that use transit regularly such as for work,  loyalty programs increase the value of their normal commute and can also increase the value of using transit for other excursions. Through a loyalty program, riders could earn discounted or free rides, get special offers or discounts through a partnerships program with local businesses, and progressively earn better deals, rewards, or member perks the more miles they ride. Using loyalty program rider use data and ticket purchase data, transit authorities have the option to create more tailored ticket or pass options and to implement initiatives like fare-capping for their rider audiences. 

Incorporate local events

Using local events is one way to attract more individuals to public transit. Some of examples of events include:

      • Music festivals 
      • Sports games or competitions
      • Concerts
      • Conventions or conferences
      • Local festivals (street art festivals, seasonal events, etc) 
      • International events such as the Olympics or World Cup

Promoting the benefits of using transit - easy of use, monetary savings or value earned, etc. - help make it more attractive choice over other transportation options.  For example, traveling by transit lets riders earn points towards free rides they could use for their next event. Partnerships with venues and event planners could allow for registered riders to receive special pricing on event tickets or bonus points/rewards for using public transit to attend the event.


If you want to learn more about how to market towards different transit riders, reach out to us today and see how we can help you make the next step!