Q and A about Metra’s new marketing plan and contest
What is this contest about?
It’s about drawing new riders to Metra – about getting people out of their cars and out of traffic jams and on to our fast, reliable, safe trains.
What are you giving away?
Every week for 14 weeks starting Monday, March 4, Metra will give away up to 500 pairs of special tickets so winners can take two free rides anywhere Metra travels. We’re inviting non-riders to take one of our cars for a test drive.
Why free tickets?
Metra is certain those new riders will become fare-paying customers once they see how taking the train makes their life easy.
How do you enter?
Simply go to our website, www.metrarail.com/TestDrive, during the contest period and enter your name, address, phone number and e-mail address. Only one entry is allowed per person.
Who can enter?
The contest is open to legal residents of Illinois, aged 18 years or older at the time of entry. Employees and their immediate families, including household members, of Metra, Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway and the Northern Illinois Commuter Transportation District, their affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, and advertising or promotions agencies are not eligible. Full contest rules are posted on our website.
How will you notify winners?
The winners will be notified by mail with a letter that also includes the free tickets.
Are there other elements to this marketing plan?
Yes. The ticket giveaway is part of a larger marketing plan that aims to draw new riders to Metra but stressing the advantages of commuter rail over driving. The plan also includes digital outdoor billboards throughout the Chicago area and a variety of targeted radio ads.
What is the cost of this marketing plan to Metra?
The marketing plan will cost about $390,000. About $25,000 will be paid to our marketing consultant for the creative elements, with the remaining going toward media buying.
Why is Metra launching a marketing campaign?
Every year Metra loses about 15 percent of its regular riders due to retirements, job relocations and other factors. We need to introduce the next generation of riders to the numerous benefits of public transportation and Metra and increase overall ridership by showing potential new customers that Metra, for a variety of reasons, is a smart choice.
What factors influence ridership?
There are a variety of factors other than marketing promotions that impact ridership numbers, including regional employment, corporate relocations, gas prices, weather, major construction projects, the number and type of downtown activities and City of Chicago special events and fares.