CARTA CASE STUDY

Keeping the bus on track

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) has faced extensive financial and service challenges since its inception 20 years ago. However, through a decade-long relationship with Rawle Murdy, CARTA has maintained a positive reputation in the region, particularly among the population who depend on its services.

With the rollout of system-wide service changes (and in some cases reductions) during the spring of 2016, it was more important than ever to facilitate two-way communication with CARTA’s riders, bolster general public engagement and enhance the system’s overall reputation.

CARTA CASE STUDY

Keeping the bus on track

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) has faced extensive financial and service challenges since its inception 20 years ago. However, through a decade-long relationship with Rawle Murdy, CARTA has maintained a positive reputation in the region, particularly among the population who depend on its services.

With the rollout of system-wide service changes (and in some cases reductions) during the spring of 2016, it was more important than ever to facilitate two-way communication with CARTA’s riders, bolster general public engagement and enhance the system’s overall reputation.

RESULTS

Reached 234,000 people and lowered overall regional traffic count on #DumpThePumpCHS day

Recruited 15 local businesses to offer CARTA riders incentives from 10% off to free merchandise for CARTA riders

Earned media included multiple feature stories highlighting programs and participants

Sharp increase in social media following across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

A Smart Idea

Rawle Murdy conceived the Summer of CARTA program–a multi-channel, three-month public engagement effort that included numerous and varied tactics intended to:

  • Improve public sentiment
  • Strengthen buy-in from elected leaders
  • Continue social media growth.

The program was designed to reach diverse audiences of riders and non-riders alike – elected leaders, tourists, students, local business and employers, general public, media – which required an array of tactics.

Loyalty Campaign

To engage with local businesses and incentivize public transit, Rawle Murdy developed the ‘CARTA Commerce’ loyalty program. The campaign established CARTA Commerce program in involved businesses offering perks to customers with valid bus passes.

As part of CARTA Commerce, Rawle Murdy designed a decal for businesses to display on their storefront to attract riders. In return, CARTA promoted the businesses’ involvement via social media and in the media and on www.ridecarta.com.

Loyalty Campaign

To engage with local businesses and incentivize public transit, Rawle Murdy developed the ‘CARTA Commerce’ loyalty program. The campaign established CARTA Commerce program in involved businesses offering perks to customers with valid bus passes.

As part of CARTA Commerce, Rawle Murdy designed a decal for businesses to display on their storefront to attract riders. In return, CARTA promoted the businesses’ involvement via social media and in the media and on www.ridecarta.com.

Rider Relations

To improve CARTA’s transparency and service, Rawle Murdy helped identify 14 riders to form a Transit Riders Advisory Committee that attends bi-monthly forums on the state of the service with CARTA’s Executive Director.

Stakeholder Outreach

Rawle Murdy also developed an engagement and social media strategy – “On Board with the Board” – for CARTA’s board members to ride the bus, underscoring leadership’s commitment to riders.

Stakeholder Outreach

Rawle Murdy also developed an engagement and social media strategy – “On Board with the Board” – for CARTA’s board members to ride the bus, underscoring leadership’s commitment to riders.

Events

For national Dump the Pump Day, Rawle Murdy worked with a local bike shop to donate a free cruiser to the winner who used the hash tag #DumpThePumpCHS on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Other highlights included: Chill with CARTA appearances during which buses were used as Cooling Zones and WiFi Hotspots, and CARTA Night with the RiverDogs where the board chairman threw out the first pitch and called two innings on the radio broadcast.