Run Continuous Education Campaigns — Build Awareness of the Transportation System

Every five years the County turns over 50% of its population base—100,000 residents leave the County, and 100,000 new residents arrive.

Almost half of teen riders say that a lack of information and knowledge may be a barrier for riding the bus. 35% said they don’t know where the bus stops are, and 32% said they can’t find bus info.

What We Know:

In order for residents and employers to effectively use Arlington County’s multi-mode transportation system, they have to understand how it works and how to access it.

This education process is complicated fact that Arlington County has extremely high resident turnover. Every five years the County turns over 50% of its population by the base — 100,000 residents leave the County, and 100,000 new residents arrive. The fundamental job of providing information and education on the transportation options available and how to use them must be significant and ongoing.

Based on this knowledge, ACCS has invested in an ongoing public education and information campaign. This communications effort includes advertising, direct mail, and events. Current transportation system education efforts are promoted under the theme “Way To Go.”

And, based on the most recent scores, this campaign is making a difference.

Key Supporting Facts:

  • A 2006 survey of Arlington County residents demonstrated that the “Way to Go” Campaign brought about mode switching and increased usage. The greatest increases were posted for Metrorail, walking, Metrobus, and ART. This survey also showed that 52% of Arlington County residents sought information on types of transportation they could use and 47% sought transportation services. 54% who sought information looked for transit routes and schedules. 42% of residents who sought information or services took action to change they way they travel (such as seeking even more information or changing their route to work). 66% of residents who had access to services at their residence (apartment, condo, etc.) used one or more of those services — 25% used transit information that was offered. And 95% of residents who used a service tried or increased use of a high-occupancy vehicle mode (such as a bus or Metrorail). 61% of Arlington County residents said that communication about transportation and traffic issues is important to them. (Source: 2006 Arlington County Residents’ Satisfaction with Transportation Telephone Study)

More Supporting Facts on Why Transit Information and Education is Important:

  • A 1999 Fiscal Year Performance of Arlington Metrobus study found that a lack of clear transit information is a barrier to riding the bus. It is important to provide clear, easily accessible information that is readily available in multiple locations (e.g. at the bus stop itself, online, etc.) “Telling someone that riding the bus may be beneficial does not help if the potential user cannot obtain information quickly and easily.” Additionally, respondents were asked to rate the comprehensiveness of a bus service guide mailed to them in January of 1999. Six months after the map’s distribution, 37% of respondents still had it in their possession.
  • 91% of riders of the “Pike Ride” (a bus service on the Columbia Pike that began in September of 2003) who had seen or used Pike Ride brochures found them useful. Only 42% of the riders surveyed had seen or used the brochures, suggesting that expanded distribution of this collateral could be an important method of getting the word out about this particular type of transit. All of the Hispanic respondents who had seen the Pike Ride brochures in Spanish found them to be useful. (Source: 2003 Arlington County “Pike Ride” Transit Service Study)
  • In a 2003 study of Arlington County car owners, it was determined that In addition to motivating residents to make fewer driving trips, it is important to educate residents on how they can reduce the number of driving trips made. (Source: 2003 Arlington County SOV Driving Trip Reduction Study)
  • According to at 2005 study, 63% of Virginians are interested in getting information on transportation and travel. (Source: 2005 Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Traveler Opinon & Perception (TOP) Study)
  • Almost half of teen riders say that a lack of information and knowledge may be a barrier for riding the bus. 35% said they don’t know where the bus stops are, and 32% said they can’t find bus info. (Source: 2006 Arlington County Teen Transit Initiative Study)

 

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