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Changing Public Behavior
Reducing Traffic in Our Region
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Montgomery County, Maryland – Department of Public Works and Transportation, Commuter Services

Situation:

The Washington region is second to Los Angeles in terms of traffic gridlock, while we lead the nation in congestion costs of wasted time and gasoline.  

Potomac was hired as marketing consultants to Montgomery County, Maryland (population 850,000) to promote the use of alternate transportation to hundreds of thousands of area commuters.

Approach:

Potomac developed a three-year marketing plan.  Then we designed an extensive public education campaign to increase public awareness that reached beyond a company’s decision makers to embrace the most likely users of alternate transportation, such as Metrorail, MARC train, Ride On bus, carpools, vanpools, biking, walking, telecommting and flextime. 

   On behalf of this client, we implemented a campaign called “Smart Moves 2000!” with a goal of enlisting 2000 employers to offer commuting benefits.  The County Executive launched the campaign at a Transportation Summit for more than 200 business, civic, political, and government leaders.  Television and newspaper coverage was heavy.

Potomac also planned and coordinated four Annual Transportation Awards Ceremonies using creative and significant themes promoting the Smart Moves program.  During the ceremony, former Maryland Governor Parris Glendening presented our client with a $1 million grant for the Smart Moves program.

Potomac produced a Smart Moves promotional video to encourage employers to offer commuting benefits for those who use Metrorail and buses, telecommute, or who carpool, walk, or bike to work.  We also produced print and radio ads aimed at employees.  

Overall, Potomac designed and produced brochures and promotional materials, quarterly newsletters, and personalized direct mail packets – in addition to performing community outreach, coalition building, event planning and media relations.

Outcome:

    Today the County is more than halfway toward its goal of enlisting 2000 businesses.

County leadership now proactively promotes alternate transportation.  A Fare $hare component has been added to Smart Moves to encourage public transit use.  It’s an issue in the forefront – no longer languishing on the back burner.

 

 

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