The San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority has issued this
request for proposal to solicit qualified proposers to perform an integrated
marketing campaign in support of a new schedule for the San Joaquin Intercity
Passenger Rail Service (Amtrak San Joaquins) referred to in this RFP as the
“Slotted Schedule”. The slotted schedule has three primary objectives: 1)
improve mobility to/from the Southern California market, 2) restore recently
broken connections throughout the San Joaquins Corridor, and 3) improve on-time
performance of the service.
The Intercity Passenger Rail Act of 2012 (Assembly Bill
1779) signed by Governor Brown on September 29, 2012, permitted the
establishment of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA), and enabled
SJJPA to enter into an Interagency Transfer Agreement (ITA) with the State to
transfer the administrative responsibilities of the San Joaquin Intercity
Passenger Rail Service (Amtrak San Joaquins) from the State to SJJPA. The ITA
was executed on June 29, 2015 and the governance/management of Amtrak San
Joaquins transferred to SJJPA on July 1, 2015.
AB 1779 requires SJJPA to protect the existing San Joaquin
Rail Service and facilities and seek to expand service as warranted by
ridership and available revenue. Increases in the San Joaquin Rail Service and
ridership will result in more jobs, improved air quality, and will help promote
sustainable development in the San Joaquins Corridor. Under the provisions of
AB 1779, the state will continue to provide the funding necessary for service
operations, administration, and marketing.
SJJPA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of a
Board Member and an Alternate representing each of the 10 Member Agencies along
the 365-mile San Joaquins corridor. The
Member Agencies are:
• Alameda County
• Contra Costa Transportation Authority
• Sacramento Regional Transit District
• San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission
• Stanislaus Council of Governments
• Merced County Association of Governments
• Madera County Transportation Commission
• Fresno Council of Governments
• Kings County Association of Governments
• Tulare County Association of Governments
The San Joaquins is Amtrak’s 6th busiest route with 1.1 million annual riders and 18 stations providing a safe, comfortable, and reliable way to travel throughout California. The San Joaquins operates five daily round-trips between Bakersfield and Oakland and two daily round-trips between Bakersfield and Sacramento. In addition to the train service, the San Joaquins Thruway buses provide connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas, and Reno.
The San Joaquins Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) is the managing agency for SJJPA. SJJPA is responsible for planning, developing, managing passenger rail, connecting buses, stations, maintenance, parking, and rolling stock procurement. As the Managing Agency, SJRRC provides staffing, consultants and other services to support the SJJPA. SJJPA adopted the policies and procedures of the SJRRC including the SJRRC Procurement Manual that complies with local, state, regional and federal funding purchasing requirements.
Scope of Work:
The goal of the Slotted Schedule Integrated Marketing
Campaign is to increase ridership and revenue on the San Joaquins by employing
strategies including but not limited to: reintroducing the San Joaquins to the
Southern California market, increasing awareness of Southern California
connections via the San Joaquins to the Central Valley and Bay Area, and
helping ensure the market of expected increase in on-time performance once
demonstrated. Components to the success of this goal will be employing a
multi-channel campaign that is highly targeted, linked to proven discounts, and
employs creative that speaks to the demographics and brand of the San Joaquins
The Slotted Schedule Integrated Marketing Campaign will consist of three phases: 1) Pre-Campaign Strategy Report, 2) Advertising and Outreach Campaign; and 3) Post-Campaign Report.
Phase #1: Pre-Campaign Strategy Report
Before launching an advertising effort, relevant data will need to be analyzed, markets identified, and media channel distribution determined to prepare an effective and targeted advertising campaign. SJJPA staff will provide data related to current ridership, revenue, travel pattern data, and new schedule information to begin formulating a campaign methodology. The winning proposer will prepare a formal strategy report that discusses target markets and demographics; media channels selected with reasoning; media market distribution; and messaging direction.
Phase #2: Advertising and Outreach Campaign
The design and methodology of the Advertising and Outreach Campaign will be directed by the ‘Strategy Report’ from ‘Phase 1’ in both messaging and budget allocation across media markets and channels. The campaign will need to be intuitively designed to reach the target markets and rider profiles. The campaign will focus on the three previously identified keys to success: 1) improved mobility to/from the Southern California market, 2) restored recently broken connections throughout the San Joaquin Corridor, and 3) improved on-time performance of the service. The campaign will focus on the leisure market that currently makes up nearly 90% of the San Joaquin ridership. Messaging and creative strategies will need to be developed to acheive desired goals and deployment methodologies may differ depending on the target market. The campaign should include various types of media channels including digital, social, radio, outdoor, television, and print. Channels should be evaluated on a market-by-market basis to ensure the efficiency of the media buy against reach of the marketing dollars. The diversification of media channels allows tailored messages to be delivered based on audience demographics. In addition, deploying advertising on a diverse range of media channels will increase the likelihood of target audiences seeing messages repeatedly.
With approximately 55% of passengers purchasing their tickets online via AmtrakSanJoaquins.com, Amtrak.com, or the ‘Amtrak Mobile App’, driving traffic to the website/app is a key component of driving ridership and revenue. This data would suggest a need for a significant portion of the budget to be allocated to digital and social advertising efforts.
The advertising efforts will also include a program for the Thruway Bus markets. The Thruway Bus markets are an important part of the San Joaquin service with 62% of riders using the Thruway Bus on at least one leg of their trip, including those traveling to/from the Southern California market via the Bakersfield train station. Delivering messages to the Thruway markets promoting their connectivity to the Amtrak San Joaquins train system is a great opportunity. Also, many of these communities are disadvantaged, making the Thruway service a key component of connectivity.
Phase #3: Post-Campaign Report
The winning proposer will produce a ‘Post Campaign Report’ that includes the determined strategy from ‘Phase 1’, the creative from ‘Phase 2’, and data and metrics related to performance of the campaign.
A successful proposer shall provide the following as a part of the contract: