CASSIES Silver: Quebec City reconsiders the bus

The Quebec City Public Transit Network increased ridership with a campaign that highlighted the benefits of taking the bus.
RTC Bandeau Penser ANG

 Off to a Good Start

Situation Analysis » At the end of 2011, Quebec City decided to freeze its close-to-50% financial contribution to the transit network, while calling for a 3.2% increase in the frequency of buses, kilometres covered and operation hours. This meant the system had to attract new users and increase existing ridership – a challenge given that bus ridership had been stagnant for years.

Strategy & Insight » Support for public transit had dropped 11% in recent years, and the majority (52%) of riders took the bus because they had to rather than because they wanted to (43%). It was decided a successive series of claims would be more effective than a single-message cannon blast, which transformed into the theme: “There are a lot of good reasons to take the bus.”

Execution » The campaign launched in June 2012, using TV, transit, restaurants, bars, local dailies, radio, digital, on-the-ground activities and the actual buses. Various messages brought to life the benefits of the bus, including the tag, “More time to think,” as an advantage of travel time.

Results » With the same service as in prior years, ridership increased 3.8% by the end of 2012. The percentage of people who said they took the bus by choice also went up 9%.

Cause & Effect » In line with the ridership increase, 73% of respondents said they were reflecting on their use of the bus. There was also sharp increase from 2011 in positive social media comments: 36% on Facebook, 97% on Twitter and 88% on YouTube. The price of a single bus ticket also increased 2.8% on March 1, 2012, which, if anything, would have decreased ridership.


Client: Quebec City Public Transit Network
Director of communications & marketing: Michel de Mauraig
Marketing advisor: Hélène Drolet
Agency: Lg2
Partner, VP/CD: Luc Du Sault
Partner, CW: Nicolas Boisvert
Strategy: Catherine Darius, Mireille Côté
Account manager/director: Alexandra Laverdière
Electronic production: Claudia Lemire
Director: François Lallier
Director photography: Richard Tremblay
Production: Nova Film – Dominik Beaulieu
Photography: Marc Couture
Sound: Boogie Studio – Andres Norembuena
Infography: David Boivin
Media: Touché! – Alexandre-Pascal Lamoureux, Mylène Fortier