Metra offers free tickets
Metra today welcomed passengers “All aboard!” with an offer of two free tickets to any destination served by one of the nation’s largest commuter rail networks. The “Take a test drive in one of our cars” campaign will underscore the time, money and hassle that commuters can save by riding the rails.
The core message of the plan is that “Metra Makes Life Easy” with convenient, on-time service from most anywhere in the Chicago area.
“Take Metra and leave the snow, traffic and high gas prices behind,” said Metra Chairman Brad O’Halloran. “There is an abundance of evidence that taking the train is good for you. It decreases stress, reduces traffic congestion, cuts costs, increases productivity, and boosts overall well-being.”
O’Halloran also pointed out that Metra is not only a great option for suburban commuters but also city residents who need to travel to the suburbs. “For city dwellers, the reverse commute and visits to family and friends are made easier with Metra opening up a whole new world of possibilities,” he said.
The campaign invites Chicago area residents to take a test drive on Metra. To encourage more people to do that, each week for 14 weeks starting March 4 Metra will be giving away 500 special tickets good for two rides anywhere on the system. Metra is certain those new riders will become fare-paying customers once they see how taking the train makes their life easy. Enter to win free tickets on Metra's website here.
“To research the many advantages of riding Metra, we went to an authoritative source – the thousands of intelligent people who already are loyal and satisfied customers,” Metra CEO Alex Clifford said. “Our surveys showed that what riders like about Metra is our dependability, reliability and cleanliness; the quality of our commute; being productive while riding the train; the cost savings over a car, and the low-stress ride compared to driving.”
Recent surveys have shown that 86 percent of Metra riders rate their onboard experience as good or excellent, and 83 percent rated their Metra experience overall as good or excellent. For many riders, the message is: "Metra Makes Life Easy."
The program will stress all those advantages, with additional emphasis on the volatility of gas prices and the amount of time and money Chicagoans waste annually sitting in traffic jams. According to a recent study, the average Chicagoan spends more than 50 hours a year stuck in traffic, with the lost time and additional gas adding up to $1,153 a year.
“While Metra has a large group of dedicated, longtime customers, every year it loses about 15 percent of its riders due to retirements, job relocations and other factors,” said Clifford. “We need to introduce the next generation of riders to the numerous benefits of public transportation and Metra.”
Joining Clifford and O'Halloran was MarySue Barrett, President of the Metropolitan Planning Council, which is leading metropolitan Chicago’s Commute Options pilot to help workers try alternatives to driving alone to work.
“Reliability is the number one quality people say they want in their commute,” Barrett said. “Our region’s public transportation agencies, including Metra, are investing in infrastructure and technology upgrades to strive for on-time performance – yet another reason people ought to consider replacing even one or two trips a week with public transit.”
Metra's campaign includes digital billboards, regular billboards, internet advertising and a variety of targeted radio spots, including quick 10- and 15-second ads following traffic reports and gas price updates. Samples of the ads are available upon request.
Metra provides commuter rail service between the downtown Chicago business district and 240 stations in Northeastern Illinois over 11 routes totaling about 500 route miles. Metra operates about 700 weekday trains, providing more than 300,000 passenger trips a day.
Click here to view and use Metra's Media Assets for this campaign.