March 16, 2009
|LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE COVERAGE
APTA Launches ‘Public Transportation Takes Us There’ Campaign
At the opening session of its Legislative Conference on March 9, APTA announced the launch of a new advocacy campaign aimed at building congressional support for increased federal investment in public transportation through the authorization of the transportation bill up for a vote next fall.
“Public Transportation Takes Us There,” the name of the new campaign, will highlight the need for increased investment in public transportation to create jobs and stimulate economic growth, reduce dependence on foreign oil, protect the environment, and enhance quality of life for all Americans.
“In the grand scheme of things, we are a public investment with a ‘multiplier effect’ that definitely packs a wallop,” said APTA Chair Beverly Scott in her opening session remarks. “Remember: three Es and a Q! That stands for economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, energy independence, and overall quality of life.”
APTA leveraged the announcement of the ridership report at the legislative conference to launch the campaign. This resulted in a strong national presence in the media garnering stories in such outlets as The Washington Post, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The News Hour with Jim Lehrer on PBS. Local media also picked up on the story. Local radio stations and print outlets conducted more than 30 interviews with transit chief executive officers attending the APTA Legislative Conference in Washington. In addition, APTA ran print, online and radio advocacy advertisements in the Beltway market to complement the media outreach and the direct contact APTA members made on Capitol Hill.
“In these tough times, Americans are looking for solutions to address the many problems we face—a struggling economy, polluted planet, and dependence on foreign oil,” said APTA President William W. Millar. “APTA wants to ensure that Congress recognizes the significant role public transportation can play in finding solutions to these challenges.”
Through this program, APTA will continue to develop an integrated communications and outreach program to pursue an increased media presence in the Washington market and will work with the members reaching out on the local and state level. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall, APTA will aggressively pitch relevant news stories, including Ridership Reports and job creation reports tied to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will meet with the editorial boards of influential publications to push for increased investment. The effort will also include targeted advertising on the national level and around the DC market.
APTA also launched a campaign microsite that contains a toolkit with advocacy materials that can be downloaded and customized, including posters/flyers, media materials (press releases, op-eds, sample letters to the editor), and ads.
More information on APTA’s new campaign, and the downloadable toolkit, are available here.