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Using Partnerships to Build Rider Loyalty

Using Partnerships to Build Rider Loyalty

The transit industry has begun to pick up speed over the past couple years and focusing on rider loyalty is more important than ever. Doing that through partnership is a great way to build traction with not only customers but with other businesses in the area. Convenience is key, it is what drives people's decisions. This is why there has been an increase in delivery apps, buy-online pick-up-in store options, and subscription services. Similarly, making transit just as convenient is what will continue to draw in new and seasoned riders. Transit has the opportunity to offer a number of incentives, like partnerships with other businesses, that will drive riders to choose public transit.

While riders use transit to get to and from work, they also use it to get to restaurants, local events, and other establishments in their area. If they were able to earn rewards or special offers to the places they are going to by transit, they would be more likely to continue riding. Tailoring special promotions or offers towards your customers through your loyalty program will make using transit more attractive than other transportation options. For example: a rider can earn points towards a free ride when they use public transit to go to a favorite restaurant and once they arrive they can then also redeem a special offer like a free drink or small food item offered by that same restaurant through the loyalty program’s partner offers. The rider ends up receiving more value from the two opportunities combined than if they only had one option or the other. This increased value can make riders more inclined to not only continue to use transit but specifically look for other partner dining establishments or entertainment options within the loyalty program that offer similar perks or discounts. 

Through a partnership, venues and local events can offer registered riders special prices on tickets for using public transit to get to the event. As mentioned before, convenience is a motivating factor for people who are choosing to ride transit. Making it as seamless as possible for attendees whether they are from the area or out-of-town to get to these events will cause a boost in ridership. 

This is also a great way to promote local business in the specific area. People love to know they are supporting well rounded companies within their communities, and creating more connections between riders and local business via partnership with public transit agencies can help draw in more customers. Teaming up with business’ doesn’t have to stop at local events or restaurants, you can also team up with groups like: 

  • Students: partner with colleges or trade schools to offer special rates or incentives for students. 
  • Families: Incentivizing families to use public transit for family outings or events by offering special rates or promotional days, such as Metrolink’s Kids Ride Free weekends 
  • Sporting events or tourists: Getting to and from sports games, concerts, conferences or large international competitions (like the Olympics) can be such a hassle. Public transit has a big opportunity to establish itself as the best option for these customers going to these events. 

Apps are what most people rely on in this day and age so giving riders the option to go on a transit agencies app and see what businesses they are partnered with can open the doors to a wider audience. Offering different ticket options or deals that are done exclusively through the app or loyalty program will lead to stronger customer loyalty and relationships. For example, in California, Metrolink offers a 10-Day Flex Pass program available only through Metrolink’s Mobile App. With the switch in workplace travel norms, the Flex Pass gives commuters the flexibility to use one of their day passes whenever they need to travel. Transit agencies also have the option to implement strategies such as fare-capping and special pricing to encourage riders to sign up for their mobile app. Riders will log their rides to their account which can allow them to track their progress towards different rewards. 

Transit is an ever growing business and utilizing the power of partnerships will only cause a boost in riders. People need to trust the business they are using to get from one place to another and if they see that one of their favorite companies is partnered with your agency then they are more likely to look into your brand. 

If you want to learn more about how partnerships will help you build rider loyalty, reach out to us today and see how we can help you!