eceive a Presentation on Results of Recent Promotions
A. 8-Hour Light Rail Excursion Fare
Mr. Lopez provided a PowerPoint Presentation outlining Project Goals, Tactics, Campaign, Advertising, Results, Results (in Ticket Sales), Results (in Revenue), Results to Date, Next Steps, an outline regarding the 8-Hour Excursion Pass, and a brief summary regarding other marketing initiatives conducted during the first half of 2006.
Mr. Lopez stated that the Project Goals for the 8-Hour Excursion Pass Pilot Program included developing an affordable and convenient light rail pass that would act as a round trip type fare and address the logistical difficulties created following large events at the Light Rail Ticket Vending Machines (TVM).
Mr. Lopez reported that the tactics were to introduce the adult, youth and senior disabled/Medicare fare categories; an alternative round-trip type fare; passes priced at twice the single-ride fare; and an attractive fare for trips to entertainment and other leisure destinations.
Mr. Lopez reported that the 8-Hour Light Rail Excursion Pass was introduced on June 1, 2006 and tagged as a Light Rail pass priced just right for any event, with emphasis that the pass could only be used on Light Rail.
Mr. Lopez noted that an advertising promotional campaign was conducted including cable television, radio, print, transit advertisements, VTA’s Take-One and VTA’s website.
Mr. Lopez provided examples of posters, print ads, and bus and light rail interior advertisements for the Task Force’s review.
Mr. Lopez announced that in June 2006, a total of 2,514 Excursion Passes were sold and in July 2006, 14,520 Excursion Passes were sold. Mr. Lopez noted that The Grand Prix and Fourth of July events generated increased sales in July 2006.
Mr. Lopez explained that Light Rail ticket sales for all categories were up approximately 10,220 passes in June 2006, compared to June 2005 and up approximately 9,047 passes in July 2006, compared to July 2005. Comparing revenue for the same periods, including the sales of the Excursion Pass, there was an increase of approximately $16,500 in June 2006, compared to June 2005, and approximately $10,700 in July 2006, compared to July 2005.
Mr. Lopez noted that in July 2005 free fares were provided to the public on the Fourth of July because of the problems VTA had with the public trying to access the TVM’s after events and that the Excursion Pass provided VTA an opportunity to charge for fares in 2006.
Mr. Lopez stated that the Next Steps are to complete the pilot program by December 2006, evaluate the program, and forward staff’s recommendation to the VTA Board of Directors based on the results of the pilot program.
Co-Chairperson Campos asked if the recommendations will be presented to the Board of Directors at their January 2007 Meeting. Mr. Lopez stated that staff expects to forward the recommendations in either January 2007 or February 2007.
Member Glickman complimented staff on their Outreach efforts. Member Glickman inquired if it would be appropriate to approach people who are selling tickets to special events (such as the San Jose Grand Prix, Fourth of July and the San Jose Shark’s games) to sell the Excursion Passes as well. Mr. Lopez responded that VTA staff approached the San Jose Grand Prix but they were not receptive to the idea this year, however, staff is hopeful that they will be in 2007.
Co-Chairperson Campos recommended that VTA immediately begin conversations with event sponsors for the 2007 Grand Prix event.
Member Lepe inquired why the 8-Hour Excursion Fare was only offered for Light Rail and not bus service. Mr. Lopez explained that the Pass could only be used for eight hours and given the current technology used by VTA on buses it would be difficult to accurately monitor the program. Member Lepe referenced a program other cities, such as San Francisco, offer wherein a pass is stamped and passengers are allotted a certain number of hours to travel and recommended that VTA consider using a similar type of pass for its bus system. Mr. Lopez thanked Member Lepe for his recommendation.
B. Spring/Summer Promotions
Mr. Lopez provided a brief recap of the initiatives: Simple and Free Program, Summer Blast Pass, and Meet the Riders.
Mr. Lopez reported that the Simple and Free Campaign was targeted at seniors and persons with disabilities by providing free rides on the entire system during off peak weekday hours and all day on weekends. The results of that program showed that 656,578 complimentary boardings were provided by VTA. Mr. Lopez noted that VTA received a significant amount of feedback from the public who had never tried VTA’s service and who took advantage of the program and from current riders who felt the program was a way of thanking them for their patronage.
Mr. Lopez noted that as a result of the free service provided, VTA’s partners in cable, television, and radio were very receptive and provided VTA with approximately $87,000 in free advertising and public service announcements.
Mr. Lopez stated that 2006 is the second year that VTA has offered the Youth Summer Blast Pass, a discounted three-month pass sold for $75. The duration of the Pass was from June 1, 2006 through August 31, 2006.
Pass sales for 2006 were $1,650 compared to 2005 where sales equaled $1,456, representing a 13 percent increase. Mr. Lopez noted that based on research, a program such as this will take three to four years to fully escalate.
Mr. Lopez stated that information on the total sales of the Summer Blast Pass will be available at the end of September 2006.
VTA’s newest and final campaign is the Meet the Riders Campaign. Seven events were included in this Campaign where members of the public were invited to come out, ride to a VTA designated location, find the person wearing the rider gear and say, “I’m a VTA Rider”, present a valid pass and receive a prize. Mr. Lopez noted that 161 riders participated in the seven promotions throughout the County of Santa Clara.
Mr. Lopez stated VTA had 560 hits on its website for the first four promotions and results of the last three promotions are not yet available.
Mr. Lopez acknowledged Eastridge Mall, Westfield Shopping Center, Valley Fair and Oakridge Shopping Centers, Camera Cinemas, Century Theaters, Great America, and Raging Waters for their donations.
Co-Chairperson Campos stated she was very impressed with staff’s presentation on VTA outreach programs to raise public awareness about the value of public transit. She was also impressed the public’s willingness to use bus and light rail as a mode of transportation.
On order of Co-Chairperson Campos, there being no objection, the Presentation on Result of Recent Promotions was received.