UTAH TRANSIT AUTHORITY ISSUES RFP FOR ADVERTISING AGENCY OF RECORD

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The Utah Transit Authority was incorporated on March 3, 1970, under the authority of the Utah Public Transit District Act of 1969, for the purpose of providing a public mass transportation system for Utah communities. UTA serves the largest segment of the population in the State of Utah known as the Wasatch Front. Its service area is about 1,600 square miles covering six counties: Salt Lake, Tooele, Weber, Davis, Box Elder and Utah.

UTA operates an award-winning network of bus, bus rapid transit, ski bus, light rail, commuter rail, streetcar, paratransit, vanpool and Rideshare program services throughout the Wasatch Front. The agency operates more than 700 buses in fixed-route service (including all-electric, hybrid-electric and CNG), approximately 400 vanpool vans and 190 paratransit vehicles. UTA’s 45-mile light rail system includes three lines (Red, Blue and Green) in Salt Lake County serviced with 114 vehicles. UTA owns and operates the 89-mile FrontRunner commuter rail line serving Salt Lake, Weber, Davis, and Utah counties. In 2013, UTA completed its most recent rail project, the S-Line streetcar providing service between South Salt Lake and Salt Lake Cities. In 2019, UTA opened its first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line – the Utah Valley Express (UVX) in Utah County and just broke ground on another BRT line in Ogden City.

UTA is moving forward with studies and planning for additional projects on the regional long-range plans. These include several bus rapid transit (BRT) projects and corridor studies, a five-year bus service plan, as well as studies of expanded/increased FrontRunner service and transit options around Point of the Mountain

The agency currently employs approximately 2,700+ people and has offices and operations facilities in Salt Lake, Weber and Utah Counties. Approximately two thirds of UTA’s workforce includes bargaining unit employees that work in vehicle operations, facility maintenance, vehicle maintenance, coach cleaning and inventory. The remaining employees represent administrative personnel performing functions such as management, finance, transit development, planning, engineering, marketing, purchasing, human resources and customer service.

The agency’s headquarters are located in Salt Lake City and house the bulk of the organization’s planning, capital development, communications, customer service, legal, accounting, purchasing, technology and human resource functions. In 2003, UTA implemented an agency-wide reorganization, establishing “business units” that are responsible for day-to-day transit operations. There are currently four business units for bus service: Salt Lake, Mt. Ogden, Timpanogos (Utah County) and Special Services (paratransit). With respect to rail service, the Light Rail Business Unit oversees the operations of TRAX and Streetcar, and the Commuter Rail Business Unit oversees the operations of FrontRunner. Each of the business units is led by a Regional General Manager.

The UTA executive staff includes an Executive Director, who reports to the Board of Trustees.  Reporting to the Executive Director as part of the executive team are the Chief Operating Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Planning and Engagement Officer, the Chief People Officer, the Chief Service Development Officer, the Chief People Officer, and the Chief Enterprise Strategy Officer. Also reporting to the Executive Director are the Communications Director and the Director of Safety & Security.

The Authority is governed by a 3-member Board of Trustees, representing Salt Lake County, Utah and Tooele Counties, and Davis, Weber and Box Elder Counties. Nominees for the board are submitted to the Governor by the local elected officials within these three districts. The Governor appoints a board member for each district, who is then confirmed by the Utah State Senate. Board members serve four-year terms, with no term limits.

Scope of Work:

Advertising & Marketing Campaigns

Each year, the Contractor will provide expertise and assist UTA in the development and implementation of several campaigns and activities that achieve the campaign objectives while maintaining UTA’s brand identity. These typically include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Corporate Branding/Ridership Campaign:  one (1) main campaign each year. Usually a television and online/digital campaign with 2-3 produced spots.
  • Change Day occurs three times per year (April, August & November). Depending on the size and scope of the change day, UTA may implement a paid media campaign to create awareness about the changes and/or promote additional service being implemented.
  • Ed Pass: a back-to-school campaign targeted to the students at the major universities in UTA’s service area. Tactics typically include inclusion in new freshman materials, digital/social media, and on-campus digital and print signage.
  • Targeted Campaigns: Identified paid media campaigns for specific services, fare products or promotions, safety programs, new product launches, etc. May include 4-6 campaigns a year. Examples include:
    • Micro transit service launch in southwestern Salt Lake County
    • Promoting fare products:  UTA Go Ride, FAREPAY
    • Promoting new technologies and rider tools:  Transit app, Service Alerts
    • Safety Campaigns: may be targeted to riders, to vehicle drivers, or pedestrians

Special Events & Collateral Materials

  • Special Events: The Contractor shall provide support in planning and producing collateral materials for special events (invitations, banners, programs, etc.) Average 2-3 events per year.
  • Collaterals: The Contractor shall provide design and production of collaterals for various projects and programs. Averages 3-5 pieces per year. Examples include the Year in Review, the Federal Priorities document and the Fast Facts booklet.

Covid-19 Recovery Strategy

UTA responded swiftly and pro-actively when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020. We quickly implemented strict daily cleaning and disinfecting measures, installed operator shields on all the buses, limited contact by implementing rear-door boarding and not handling fare media, providing for social distancing by monitoring ridership, and requiring masks. As a result, UTA’s incidence of Covid-19 cases is reflective of the community at large, and there has not been an outbreak tied to the UTA system.

However, UTA ridership dropped as schools went virtual, events were canceled and employers implemented telecommuting practices. UTA’s ridership has stabilized in recent months, and even slightly increased, and we still carry about 65,000 trips per day.

  • As vaccinations increase in the State, events return, school return to the classroom in the fall, and employees potentially return to the workplace, UTA implemented a TV/digital campaign in early 2021 to create awareness about our safety measures and begin to build confidence. The agency has also created a Ridership Recovery Team to identify potent The Contractor must be able to provide a strategic messaging and communications plan to assist UTA in further building confidence and ultimately increasing ridership and emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The Contractor will also need to assist the agency in developing, producing and placing the communications plans for the various campaigns and fare promotions

Vehicle Design & Updates

The Public Relations & Marketing Department, as part of UTA’s branding efforts, is responsible for the exterior and interior design – and updates – of UTA vehicles, either for existing or new services.

Recent examples include the design of UTA’s bus rapid transit vehicles (starting with UVX and now being applied to the Ogden BRT project), creating the design for the UTA On Demand by Via micro transit pilot vans, and updating the old TRAX vehicles (SD100 and SD160 fleet) with the new S70 design.

  • The Contractor will need to have the branding and design expertise to assist UTA in developing detailed designs for new services in compliance with UTA’s brand guidelines, assisting the agency in updating designs to existing fleet vehicles, and assisting the agency on brand strategy for identifying specific vehicles (such as alternative fuel vehicles).
  • The Contractor will need to be able to provide UTA with design files that can be provided to vehicle manufacturers.

Research

  • Each year the Public Relations & Marketing Department conducts a Benchmark Survey to residents throughout the agency’s service area. The Benchmark Survey is designed to a) gauge overall opinion of UTA and its performance and accountability, b) gauge perception of UTA’s services, c) ascertain high-level reasons why people ride/don’t ride, d) ascertain potential motivators to ride, and e) where people would look for information about UTA or how to ride.
  • UTA has kept the Benchmark Survey very consistent – with a few minor updates each year – to track results over time. UTA also seeks a sample size of at 600+ responses to ensure adequate representation across all the counties in the agency’s service area.
  • ial campaigns and fare promotions to encourage people to return to transit.
  • The Contractor will need to have the research expertise to assist UTA with updating the survey each year and provide the resources or a sub-contractor to implement and conduct the survey.

Proposers must be able to demonstrate their ability to perform the following services for UTA:

  1. Employ on behalf of UTA, Contractor’s knowledge of marketing, advertising, public relations, branding, image and reputation building, graphics, production, special event planning and market research.
  • Employ on behalf of UTA, Contractor’s knowledge of market research and analysis. Consult and coordinate with UTA on analyzing its transit products and services, analyzing present and potential markets, conducting market research, analyzing customer trends, products and services strategies.
  • Contractor shall provide services to UTA through an account team generally consisting of the following functions:
    • Account Manager
    • Account Supervisor
    • Account Coordinator
    • Creative Director
    • Senior Copywriter
    • Copywriter
    • Art Director
    • Designer
    • Production Artist
    • Traffic/Production Manager
    • Media Buying/Planning
    • Secretarial
    • Delivery
    • Other Agency personnel as required

Due Date:

5/5/2021 2:00 PM MDT

Address:

Brian Motes

669 West 200 South

Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

(801) 287-3059

bmotes@rideuta.com

Relevant agencies to consider include Lippert Heilshorn and Dukas Linden.

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