Transit Branding Podcast

Posted on Sep 30, 2013 In Audio Latest Updates

Renew Hamilton hosted a half day seminar at Hamilton City Hall on September 27 titled Leadership in Transit Branding and Wayfinding.

The goal was to provide information and insights on how to apply modern marketing and engagement principles to help increase ridership on Hamilton’s public transit system.  More than two dozen people attended, including a cross section of leaders and practitioners from the City of Hamilton, NGOs and the business community.

Below is a 30 minute audio recording of a presentation by Alex Bitterman, PhD, an associate professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and an expert in public transit systems.  The audio of the presentation by Andrew Kuzyk and Rita Hopkins of Entro Communications will follow in a subsequent post.


How can branding reshape the opinion of the public when it comes to transit?

  • Public transit seems to have an identity crisis – it’s often visually inconsistent and considered a ‘last choice’ – reinforcing the public’s negative perception.
  • Public transit agencies need to develop comprehensive, long term plans to enhance the customer experience. This can be done by re-envisioning the manner by which they address the public; avoid overpromising and under-delivering.
  • A brand is a subtle communication with a consumer – not just a logo, but the overall experience – reinforced by constant and consistent appearance of the logo in context, both within the controlled brand territory, and outside it.
  • When well articulated and based on enhancing the customer experience, branding can be the source of tremendous equity.
  • The goal of public transit agencies should be to utilize the power of branding to enhance the experience for users, engage choice riders, and increase ridership. 

Examples of precedent setting public transit agencies, include: Metrorapid in LA County | Transantiago in Santiago | VIVA in York Region

Synopsis by Josie Macharia, Renew Hamilton Intern

LISTEN NOW to Dr. Alex Bitterman 

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