AECOM, a world-wide transportation consulting firm, currently administers the operation, outreach, marketing and customer service support for CTrides, Connecticut Department of Transportation’s commuter assistance program.
There is an on-going need for vendor services related to the marketing of CTrides’ programs. Services required are:
- Strategic Marketing Support
- Creative Development
- Graphic Design
- New overarching program and promotional themes
AECOM will coordinate and supervise all vendor services to fulfill program needs as established by CTDOT.
CTrides is the commuter services program of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT). Since 2011, AECOM has operated this state-wide program to help reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in the State of Connecticut. To achieve these goals, CTrides encourages commuters and other travelers to use choice commuting modes instead of driving alone. Choice commuting modes include bus, rail, carpools, vanpools, biking, walking and telecommuting. CTrides provides information and individualized support through a variety of programs. It’s primary means to reaching commuters is through an extensive outreach program to employers throughout the State. It encourages employers to participate in a number of CTrides activities that educate, inform, incentivize and demonstrate to their employees the value and importance of using choice commuting modes. CTrides currently works with over 260 employer partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The following is a summary of CTrides programs and services.
- Employer Outreach – CTrides works with employers throughout the State to gain their support for worksite activities and programs that encourage, support and incentivize their employees use of choice commuting modes. See CTrides.com/Employers. CTrides currently works with over 200 private, nonprofit and governmental organizations around the state. CTrides is seeking to not only increase the number of organizations it works with, but also increase engagement with its Partners who are actively promoting choice commuting modes. The priorities for this fiscal year are
- Program growth
- Engaging Partners in activities that impact employees use of commuting modes
- Encouraging their participation in statewide events and networking activities
- Worksite Activities for Employees – CTrides operates a number of services for employees that help them identify and use choice commuting modes. See CTrides.com/Ways-To-Commute. CTrides provides a ridematching and rewards program for commuters to find a carpool and allows members to record their trips on choice commuting modes to earn points that can be redeemed for retails discounts and chances to win periodic raffles. In addition, CTrides conducts various worksite activities as follows.
- Try It Days – a single morning event to help interested employees try a new choice commuting mode at no cost
- Meet Your Match – an employee networking event that allows employees to find other employees who are interested in carpooling or vanpooling to work
- Staffed Information Display – a staffed display at an accessible and visible worksite area where information, advice and assistance is provided to employees on choice commuting modes
- Employer sponsored events – attendance at various events such as new employee orientations, benefit fairs
- Annual Events – CTrides outreach staff conduct activities at worksites in association with annual events such as Earth Day and Bike to Work Day.
- Customer Information and Assistance – CTrides operates a number of services for employees to help them utilize choice commuting modes. These include:
- Choice Commuting Modes Website Information – a compilation of information pages on the CTrides website to educate employees about different choice commuting modes and provide links for further information
- Custom Commute Plan – a request form that employees and other travelers can use to submit a request to help them find a travel itinerary for a specified trip using choice commuting modes
- Ridematch Service – an interactive service that allows employees to find a carpool match for their specified commuting routes.
- Brochures and Schedules – a fulfillment service that provides train schedules and other information materials in bulk for delivery to employers for distribution to employees
- Links to transit services – advice and assistance in accessing worksites from nearby transit locations
- Incentive and Support Programs
- Trial bus passes – a ten trip transit pass for employees who are interested in trying certain eligible bus services
- Emergency Ride Home – a free ride home for employees who use eligible transit services and other choice commuting modes in the event of an emergency that requires them to travel home at times other than their normal commuting times.
- Rewards Program – a retail discount program that allows enrolled employees to log in their choice commuting modes and earn points for redemption of retail discounts and chances to win periodic raffles
- Transit Rewards Program – a separate retail discount program for eligible transit riders.
- U-PASS Program for college students – a transit pass to take unlimited trips on many transit services in Connecticut for one small semester fee
- Statewide Events and Campaigns
- Annual Start of College Promotion – a marketing and promotion program held every mid-August through September conducted at various colleges and universities in Connecticut for new and returning students at the start of the new academic year to encourage their use of transit, biking and walking for their travels to and from campus
- Drive Less Connecticut Competition – a month long competition held in May to challenge employers to engage the most number of their employees in using choice commuting modes in order to reduce the number of cars on the road and improve air quality. See drivelessct.com.
- Transportation Showcase – an annual business event to encourage networking among CTrides Partners and to educate businesses about developments in transportation that impact them. This 2 hour event is held in June at an interesting venue such as the Yard Goats Club at Dunkin’ Donuts Stadium.
- Commuter Rail Customer Service – CTrides provides the customer service support for Connecticut’s two commuter rail lines operated through CTrail, Shore Line East and the Hartford Line. It also assists riders of these two rail lines with questions about connecting rail and bus services
- Shore Line East – serves nine stations from New Haven to New London
- Hartford Line – serves nine stations from New Haven to Hartford ending in Springfield, MA
- Other services – MTA Metro-North Railroad’s New Haven Line connecting New Haven to Grand Central Terminal in New York City, and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service connecting at New Haven for service north to Boston and south to New York and Washington, DC.
Scope of Work:
CTrides is in the midst of revising and expanding many of its marketing and outreach activities to update its information, improve its communication strategy, coordinate several discrete but complementary activities, increase awareness of its brand, and add new service offerings that will increase participation of employers in its programs and shift more employees into choice commuting modes and away from driving alone. CTrides is looking for an experienced and strategic marketing organization that can advise it on the development and implementation of the following initiatives.
- Overall Marketing Strategy Support – AECOM is seeking to develop an overarching marketing strategy that will help build brand awareness and create a unified look and feel to its program. It conducts numerous worksite and statewide activities as well as utilizes a number of consumer and business facing communications outlets for inform, educate and promote its messages. The successful bidder will help AECOM create a new marketing strategy that will be utilized in all its activities and communications to foster it mission.
- Employer Recognition Program
A new recognition program is being developed to increase the participation of employers in the CTrides Program and to attract new employers who would like the recognition and benefits associated with this new program. The program will involve four recognition levels with an easy entry level but require increasingly more resources and worksite activities to ascend to the higher levels of recognition. Each level of recognition has an increasing level of benefits. An annual recognition event is being contemplated. The Recognition Program will require the following
- A clearly defined look and feel
- An overarching message
- A membership kit
- Support materials that assist the employer in understanding each of a variety of program activities and how to implement them
- Strategic support for launching the program, and website and other information placements
CTrides will be focusing on improving its outreach to employers. We will be developing new materials for a toolkit that our Commuter Program Managers can use with employers who are interested in finding out more about CTrides and its services. The toolkit will include
- A general brochure that explains who CTrides is, its mission and an overview of its programs
- Suitable descriptive materials on each of its major programs
- An infographic or transportation profile template of the work-site and available transportation resources
- Other materials of interest to a new employer
Messaging to Commuters
CTrides will develop a new brochure that provides an overview of choice commuting modes and supporting services that offer employees a more convenient and less costly alternative to driving alone to work. It also will develop individual information materials that explains in greater detail each of the choice commuting modes and services. These materials will cover
- Rail Service – CTrail’s Shore Line East and Hartford Line services
- Express, CTfastrak and local bus services
- Carpooling and Ridematching Services
- Emergency Ride Home
- Commuter Tax Benefit
- Rewards Programs
- Active Transportation – Biking and Walking
- Trip Planning Service
Finally, CTrides will be running promotions and messaging to various types of travelers, employees, college students and general travelers, encouraging their use of choice commuting modes.
DKC PR and Hunter PR have relevant experience.