RTA wins award for humorous "Ride On" campaign

Congrats to the marketing folks at the Regional Transportation Authority for snaring a silver award at the 36th Annual Telly Awards in the category for Local TV and Cable commercials, Public Service subcategory.

The Ride On campaign was chosen from nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries. The RTA in conjunction with the CTA, Metra and Pace launched the multi-year marketing campaign in January to improve public awareness and perception of public transportation and to attract new transit riders to the system in the RTA’s six-county region.

The ads in the campaign have been seen on cable television, online and on digital billboards throughout the region. The campaign will run through the summer of 2017.

Here’s another CTA-related ad:


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  • Again, taking credit for a nonachievement. RTA is spending money for an ad campaign on cable, when, besides not providing a transit system that works (for instance, 2 of the service boards thought the holiday was Friday instead of Saturday, while at least Metra provided service to meet the demand) is putting it on cable TV, while its usual rider isn't paying the $100-$160/month tab for that.

    Then, the last slide is the RTA still pushing the inaccurate Trip Planner, while all 3 boards are on Google Transit, which actually works (and which CTA promotes). Way to encourage ridership is to give the potential rider the wrong directions.

    Maybe Rauner cutting transit subsidies will have the salutary effect of forcing the RTA to dump its marketing department, especially since attracting more riders will just run up the deficit and any new rider will find out that the existing passengers are of the type depicted on People of the CTA.

    Finally, I question the judges' taste, in that some ripoff of a cheap meme won a prize. "Hey Jimmy Kimmel, I Just...." YouTube Challenge should be on Masterpiece Theater if that's the standard.

  • Well, Friday was the observed holiday. Doesn't explain why Metra was running a normal schedule.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Technically no, although someone tried to make a legal argument for that on chitransit and ultimately failed. I received mail on Friday, not Saturday. Most, not all, fireworks displays were on Saturday, including Chicago, which used to hold its consistently on the 3rd (until it moved The Taste).

    What certainly wasn't explained was why Saturday, which was the real holiday, got better service than Friday, especially since a Sunday schedule on Friday shut down most of Pace.

    But my only point was that this is an example of the waste of advertising the benefits of riding transit when at least 2 of the service boards don't care about passengers. Metra, by altering its Thursday schedule, running a Friday schedule, and running extras and longer trains on Saturday shows that it has some comprehension of that, which does explain what it did.

  • CTA was running buses on holiday schedules on Friday, and a Saturday schedule on Saturday, according to alerts.

    However, the schedule pages which let you look up times for specific routes point to point--and have you select a specific day, no longer just "weekday" etc. as it used to be--gave the weekday times for Friday the 3rd. Good thing I knew to ignore that. I wish they'd just go back to three options: Weekday, Saturday, and Sunday/Holiday, if they're not going to make the correct adjustments.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    I'm not following you, since the schedule pages are static. Are you referring to the RTA Trip Planner or Google Transit? The former would reenforce the point I made about these commercials being worthless.

  • No, there are schedule pages that do that. Go to schedules, select a bus route, let's say the 36. Now select "Text Timetable via Goroo." Pick station to station schedule. Now re-enter 36 since the stupid software cleared the number after you changed from default full schedule. Now you have to pick a specific day. It used to offer just 3 options: Weekday, Saturday, Sunday/Holiday. But now that you have to pick a specific day, it had better be programmed to reflect holiday schedules on the correct date. And this time it was not.

    At any rate, after you get done messing with that, you can select your from and to stops, and get a nice handy list of times. It's just too bad the CTA isn't telling you if there's a difference between one day and the next--or if it's really right.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Now select "Text Timetable via Goroo."

    That's the RTA Trip Planner, proving my point. (It was given that brand name by the RTA, but only for a short while.)

    CTA mentions both on its website, but only promotes Google Transit on its vehicles, and that's the only one anyone should use.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    I clicked where you said, and you'll see the RTA Trip Planner logo and "RTA Trip Planner. Copyright © 2015. Regional Transportation Authority" on the input screen. The only thing the link on the CTA website does is fill in the bus route number. There is also a disclaimer at the bottom about holiday schedules.

  • Yeah, whatever, excuse me for not knowing what it was.

    My point is that they didn't program it to reflect the holiday scheduling, and that is a problem. It would not have been as much of a problem before the latest "improvement" which made me pick a specific date, whereas it didn't before.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    It's the programming equivalent of putting the "pile of poo" emoji on a haufen mist. You still get....

  • In reply to jack:

    I suppose, but I'm not sure what your reference means. I'm so out of touch, apparently.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    You could Google either. The first was mentioned on Jimmy Kimmel, and the second comes from the song "Ist das nicht ein schnitzelbank?"

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