Beyond the Bling: Making the transition to college easier, one download at a time
Jul 3, 2019
Imagine sitting in a cool Starbucks sipping your cold brew despite the 90 degree heat and 110% humidity, watching your bus move along its route on your iPhone screen. When it gets close enough, you pack up your things, head outside and make it to the stop in enough time to catch the bus home, barely breaking a sweat.
Now, that’s what I call #winning.
As part of our #GoodToBeHome monthly theme, we’re sharing the successful rollout of Capital Area Transportation Authority’s Transit App, a campaign focused on helping new Michigan State University students feel more at home getting around their new campus.
Working with the CATA staff, LKF Marketing and InVerve Marketing, Piper & Gold Public Relations helped launch the Transit App in Greater Lansing to assist newcomers to the region — specifically, Michigan State University students — navigate the CATA bus system. The app also ensures everyone who rides CATA buses — especially students — gets home safely.
Project: Tracking your bus: There’s an app for that
- Integrated Marketing Gold Award, MarCom Awards
- Marketing Consumer Products and Services Campaign Pinnacle Award, PACE Awards
- Integrated Communications Diamond Award, PRSA East Central District Awards
In response to its riders wants and needs, CATA partnered with Transit, an app-based, real-time bus tracker, to roll out the Transit app in the fall of 2017. With MSU students comprising 25% of bus ridership in the region, CATA wanted to pilot its Transit app outreach on campus and with students before rolling it out to the broader population.
Advertising was developed and placed in student media including the main student newspaper, the State News, as well as other traditional and alternative news outlets in the community. Digital advertising targeted students and those fitting the demographic in the target geographic area. Mobile billboards were used throughout the region, including on and around campus during MSU student move-in to reach a large number of students.
As of Dec. 30, 2017, CATA exceeded its secondary goal of 10,000 downloads with 13,885, offering greater Lansing citizens — especially MSU students — enhanced access to transit services. With the implementation of the Transit app, community members can track CATA buses and integrate multiple forms of transportation, including walking and biking. Not only does the app make taking the bus easier, but apps like this also make the transition into a new city — or a university campus — smoother.
The Transit mobile app is still free and available for download on iPhone and Android devices, so get out there and catch a ride.