Quirky campaign

Tasmania Metro is undertaking a quirky campaign to help boost the image of public transport

Quirky campaign
Quirky campaign

Metro Chairperson Lynn Mason in the front row with hero "Max" and Metro Chief Executive Officer Heather Haselgrove (behind) and several drivers

November 25, 2013

Tasmania Metro has launched a major state-wide hero campaign aimed at reversing a decline in passenger numbers.

The campaign is built around a "hero" character to focus on positive perceptions about bus travel to challenge some negative views people have, as passenger boardings fell by 3.1 per cent in the last financial year.

"Our hero character is confident, quirky and charming. He is helpful and he is funny. Our character is able to show us all of the positive things about travelling on Metro," says Chairperson Lynn Mason.

"After some strong gains in passenger numbers following the introduction of Greencard, we have seen a decline in full fare paying adult passengers over the past couple of years and are looking at ways to turn that around."

Chief Executive Officer Heather Haselgrove says increasing passenger numbers was a top priority.

"It is the reason for our free Greencard offer in July last year, the 20 per cent discount we offer for people using Greencard and initiatives like the Fare Free Weekend to let people experience our service and, hopefully, use it more regularly," Haselgrove says.

"We’ve also introduced a Journey Planner in Burnie, Hobart and Launceston to make it easier for people to plan their bus trips using their computer or mobile devices and earlier this month started the Turn Up and Go trial on Metro’s busiest route in Hobart. As well we’re progressively replacing ageing buses, updating all of our timetables and modernising bus stop shelters and seats.

Mason says Metro undertook a research project earlier this year to understand why passengers use the services while others either were not using it or were using it less than before.

She says the decline cannot be attributed to any single factor although they believe the cost of adult fares is one factor.

"Passengers tell us that other factors such as the regularity and reliability of services, convenience and the standard of our buses and infrastructure are also important," she says.

The study also explored how people felt about Metro and the Metro brand.

"Some people said good things about Metro, for example that our drivers are courteous, but some also felt that Metro was tired, in dire need of a ‘makeover’ with an update of buses, technology and infrastructure and could show more care in delivery of services."

The Catch My Ride campaign will continue for an indefinite period and build on other events and offers such as the highly successful Nightrider service on New Year’s Eve and Greencard promotions.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook