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Apta brt branding_henke_2007

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BRT Branding and image

BRT Branding and image

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  • I will basically cover three things today: a brief primer of BRT, the range of technology involved and its impact on the BRT system and finally issues related to the cost of BRT vehicles in particular.
  • BRT is not just about the vehicle but a system of five elements, vehicles being one element. Clearly what you do with stations or fares, for example will also have an impact on the equipment on the bus. They are all interrelated elements—a cohesive system, just like light rail.
  • Here is the most recent BRT project opening in the U.S., in Los Angeles. It’s a nearly $350 million project, about $25 million per mile, with rail like stations and a dedicated roadway. In fact, the stations, bridges and road bed are “rail capable”--meaning it all can be upgraded to accommodate heavier LRVs if officials there so choose in the future.
  • This slide is one of Henke’s eye charts. It attempts to show in a matrix a list of system outcomes in the left column—what you want your BRT line to accomplish and the various vehicle characteristics that figure into that outcome. For example, vehicle reliability, speed, capacity all have an impact on ridership and the number of people a system can carry in an hour, but the drive system’s noise level and the vehicle’s attractiveness also have an impact on riders. However, the matrix shows that reliability and capacity are the most important aspects of a vehicle on the system’s performance.
  • BRT vehicles typically involve attractive styling and amenities, some with luggage and parcel racks, most with big windows.
  • Here is a continuum of the types of vehicles used in BRT, ranging on the left of the slide at the least expensive and most “off the shelf” to at the right end of the slide the most specialized and most expensive available
  • This Henke eye chart will be elaborated on by Larry as he discussed our ridership study, but the bottom line here is that you can see ridership gains and speed improvements across the board for BRT, for a low investment ranging from $11 million a mile in Boston to virtually no additional capital or operating costs for Honolulu’s, Oakland’s and L.A.’s arterial BRT
  • This Henke eye chart will be elaborated on by Larry as he discussed our ridership study, but the bottom line here is that you can see ridership gains and speed improvements across the board for BRT, for a low investment ranging from $11 million a mile in Boston to virtually no additional capital or operating costs for Honolulu’s, Oakland’s and L.A.’s arterial BRT
  • So, the BRT trend continues to accelerate both globally and continentally for the simple reason that it is a truly sustainable way forward to changing travel patters in our cities, which we must do if we are to have any hope of reduce our energy use and averting drastic climate change. I have shown you a variety of technologies available but we must keep an eye on their cost.
  • Two great additional resources can be found on the FTA’s and our website. The 2004 document Characteristics of BRT for Decision-Makers is a catalog of these technologies and there estimated costs…and…
  • On our website we have created a “virtual toolbox” of BRT informational resources. Larry also has copies of these documents available at this conference on CD. Thanks very much!

Apta brt branding_henke_2007 Apta brt branding_henke_2007 Presentation Transcript

  • BRT Branding and Image Cliff Henke Sr. Analyst, BRT and Small Starts PB TR&S, Inc. APTA Bus Conference 2007
  • Topics Today
    • BRT Vehicle Image and Branding Overview
    • Case Studies
    • Branding Theory Applied: Dos and Don’ts
  • What is BRT: A System of Components Running Ways Stations & Stops ITS & Fare Payment Service Plan Vehicles All of these are important to brand!!
  • Recent Deployment: Eugene’s Green Line EmX
    • 4 miles (60% exclusive RoW)
    • $23.5 million project,
    • Opened January 2007
    • 46% ridership increase
    • 6 hybrid advance-design NFI artics
    • Branded as “new spine”
  • Image “Invites,” But System Features “Keep” Customers       Reliability Vehicle Characteristics BRT System Success Measures Safety Perceptions Economic Development, Land Use Bus Emissions, Noise Travel Time, Wait Time Capital & Operating Cost System Capacity, Service Frequency Ridership Increase   Speed     Styling           Drive System Capacity
  • High-Comfort, Amenities
    • Interior Finish
    • Large Windows
    • Luggage Racks
    • Information
    • Grab Bars
    • Rear Window
    • Multiple Doors
    • Circulation
    • Seat Comfort
    • Fast Securement
  • Survey Said: “Sleek, Modern Image; Quiet; Safe” New Flyer Invero i40 LF Irisbus Civis Standard Artic Stylized Artic Specialized Stylized Std New Flyer Hybrid Electric 60DLF-BRT NABI 42-BRT Gillig 40 BRT NABI CNG 60 BRT
  • Image/Branding/Identity + Frequent, Reliable Service = Increased Ridership % Ridership Increase % Time Savings 35 - 100 17 - 43
  • Does Brand and Image Matter As Much as Other Things? * Estimate Branding/Image Features Outcomes ** Over Years Falbel, Levinson et als: Median 15% due to image/branding 17 35 70 3 / 3 Sort of 40 Van Hool Stops Color Coded Oakland 25 40 51 1 / 2 No & Yes Low Floor 40/45/60 Stops Color Coded L. A. Metro Rapid 43 38-100 62 1 / 3 No Artic 60 Stops Rainbow Wrap Honolulu - >80 97 3 / 3 No Artic 60 Stops & Stations Silver Boston % Time Savings % Rider- Ship Increase Bus Capacity Number of Doors Board/ Exit Styled Vehicle? Type & Length Color- Coded Station Distinct Livery/ Image City
  • Case study: Las Vegas
    • Service features:
      • Hi-tech French made Civis
      • 5 mi exclusive lane
      • Distinctive stations
      • 12-20 min. headways, 17 hr./day
      • Same fare, but pre-paid
    • Image and brand essential in land of glitz
    • Huge success, at least 3 more corridors planned
  • LA Metro Rapid: Incremental BRT
    • Simple route layout: easy to find/use
    • Frequent: 3-10 minutes during peak
    • Fewer stops: ¾ mile apart
    • Level boarding (LF buses speed-up dwell times
    • Enhanced stations: maps, lighting, canopies, “Next Bus” displays
    • Same fare
    • Minimal investment:
      • Signal priority
      • Passenger information
      • Strong branding (buses, stations etc.)
    • Results after demonstration:
    • 23-29% reduction in travel times
    • 38-42% increase in riders/weekday
    • 1/3 of total choice riders, Same cost
  • 28 routes, 450+ miles by 2008
  • Framework and Context
    • 15 routes now in operation
    • Newest to be launched in June
    • Analyzed all MTA and Municipal Operator bus routes (250)
    • Identified regional corridors (36)
      • 500 boardings per route mile
      • 10 mile route length
    • Narrowed to 28 Corridors:
      • Transit use (passengers, % weekends, travel time, average trip, load factor, etc.)
      • Transit potential: within .5 mile, activity ctrs., employment density on corridor
      • Transit dependence: % poverty, 0 car homes
    • Tiered branding system
    • Results on 11 routes to date:
    • 15% average increase in riders/weekday
    • 1/3 new riders are former auto commuters
    • Same operating and very low capital cost
  • Case study: Leeds ‘Overground’
    • Created to simplify use
    • 10 min. headways max.
    • Other new services added (ftr)
    • Ridership increased, but serious brand confusion with London plans
  • Advanced Branding Theory: “Brands As Cults” (—Douglas Atkin, The Culting o f Brands )
    • When Customers Become True Believers:
    • “ People join not to conform but to become more individualistic”
    • Brand is part of customers’ identity
    • Examples:
      • Saturn? BMW? MB?
      • Starbucks?
      • Apple (Mac and iPod)?
      • Certain (Online) games? Sports teams?
    • Creating Cults:
      • Community
      • Admiration—even devotion to—brand values
      • Sense of shared mission/purpose, us vs. them
      • Heirarchies: onlookers, members, ubermembers
  • Can public transportation “cult” its brand?
    • Do you have devotees? (Club MAX)
    • Is there a shared sense of purpose? (LACMTA)
    • Is it a higher purpose? (Use your EIRs)
    • Do you have distinct corporate and product values? Are they “taught” or “discovered”?
    • Do you have community: Do riders, workers, management, stakeholders share in it?
    • Does the campaign end when the referendum passes?
    • Is it bottom up or top down?
  • Six Branding Myths (—Matt Haig, Brand Failures )
    • If a product is good it will succeed (Beta VCRs)
    • Brands more likely to succeed (90% of brands die in 5 years—80% after introduction)
    • Big companies always have better brands (New Coke)
    • Strong brands are built on advertising (ads can support but not build the brand)
    • New will always sell (see #2)
    • Strong brands protect products (reality: strong products protect brands)
  • 10 Killer Branding Rules (—David D’Alessandro, Brand Warfare )
    • It’s the Brand, Stupid: “Focus Like A Laser”
    • Create Co-dependency
    • Great Messages, Bucking Broncos—Don’t let go!
    • Fight for Great Advertising
    • Sponsorships: Remember P.T. Barnum
    • Don’t Confuse Sponsorship with the Spectacle
    • Crush Scandal: 10 seconds can destroy a century
    • Make Distributors Slaves to the Brand
    • Use Your Brand to Lead to A Better Place
    • The Brand Is Strategic: Starts with the CEO
  • We Can Be/Are Good At This! (In fact, this should be a natural)
    • Focus and Simplicity: “Go Gold”
    • Codependency: Choice Riders “Dependent”= TOD
    • Great Messages, Bucking Broncos—Don’t let go!
    • Fight for Great Advertising—Metro Rapid Billboards
    • Sponsorships: Remember P.T. Barnum
    • Don’t Confuse Sponsorship with the Spectacle
    • Crush Scandal: 10 seconds can destroy a century
    • Make Distributors Slaves to the Brand
    • Use Your Brand to Lead to A Better Place
    • The Brand Is Strategic: Starts with the CEO
  • Branding Theory Applied: Do’s
    • Be clear and consistent
    • Choose branding that resonates
    • Communicate a shared vision
    • Create a community
    • Lead with brand as symbol of vision
    • Get CEO/Board Buy-In
  • Branding Theory Applied: Don’ts
    • Don’t overpromise
    • Don’t undermine brand with service decisions later
    • Don’t forget to coordinate brand strategies (rail, bus, BRT) but
    • Don’t overcomplicate
    • Don’t be afraid of losing a little community control
    • Don’t let go
    • Don’t go/stay on vacation during crisis
  • Suggested Branding Matrix: Interrelated Techniques Integrated Strategy Is Essential Maps, brochures, etc. Logo/color scheme Advertising, DM, website etc. Signage Station Design 10-21% Vehicle Design % of Ridership Increase Benefits Service criteria Customer Ease/Use Brand values Strategy
  • Conclusions
    • Most successful systems have strong branding
    • Largest System Performance Impacts:
      • Capacity (Vehicles + Frequency + Route Speed)
      • Speed and Acceleration
      • Reliability/On Time Performance
    • Largest System Design Impacts
      • Branding
      • Vehicle Styling
      • Cleanliness/Maintenance/Advertising Policy
      • Driver/Customer Service Courtesy
    • The Brand Invites ’Em, But Performance Keeps ’Em
  • FTA Document: Characteristics of BRT for Decision Makers www.fta.dot.gov 2002
  • “ BRT Toolkit” www.weststart.org
    • Publication tools for BRT planning
    • WS-CS and industry resources
    • Excellent outreach videos on branding
      • Simple Solutions on Curitiba
      • BTI video on Curitiba, Bogotá and Brisbane
  • Thank you www.pbworld.com www.metro-magazine.com/brt www.calstart.org/brt www.fta.dot.gov/brt www.nbrti.org www.gobrt.org