With work set to begin soon on the Interstate 35E expansion project, the Denton County Transportation Authority has launched a yearlong marketing campaign to encourage motorists to get out of their cars and ride the A-train.
The campaign will include billboards along the I-35E corridor, print ads, social media marketing, placards at gas stations and information on DCTA’s website at www.dcta.net.
The agency is looking to increase A-train ridership by 10 percent over last year by offering the commuter line as the best alternative to avoid the heavy traffic that will come with 35Express, the expansion of I-35E.
“We are excited to launch our new campaign,” said Jim Cline, DCTA president. “DCTA is a leader in advancing public transportation alternatives, and with the upcoming I-35E construction, we wanted to inform commuters that the A-train is a viable option to help them avoid traffic and enjoy a hassle-free commute while traveling along the I-35E corridor.”
Officials estimate they can reach as many as 1.1 million people at gas stations and 960,000 through billboards per week. DCTA has more than 2,200 “likes” on the agency Facebook page and more than 2,000 followers on Twitter.
The $90,000 project will be DCTA’s main marketing campaign for the year.
“The billboards along I-35E are the bulk of the expense of this campaign, but obviously our target audience is every driver on I-35E,” said Kristin Brevard, vice president of communications and planning. “These billboards can reach each person that travels along that corridor and position the A-train as a commute alternative to I-35E during the construction.”
DCTA launched the A-train in June 2011, and last September, the agency celebrated exceeding 1 million passengers on the A-train. Since the launch of the A-train, ridership has continued to grow, with 510,738 passengers riding the A-train so far in the fiscal year that started Oct. 1.
“We have seen an increase in A-train ridership month after month since the launch of the commuter rail service,” Brevard said. “With the construction on I-35E, we expect our ridership to greatly increase after construction has really ramped up.
“We’ve set a goal to increase A-train ridership by 10 percent and I think between this marketing campaign, recent schedule enhancements and great customer service, we’ll reach that goal.”
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.