As pandemic health measures relax and many workers begin returning to their workplaces, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is launching a major campaign centred on reconnection. The goal is to bring customers back to public transit networks and to support them as they prepare to start taking the bus, the métro or paratransit again after two years.
“The pandemic has had a major impact on ridership at the STM,” says Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors. “With the gradual return to normal life and lifting of public health measures, combined with the cost of living increase, this is an opportune moment to promote and remind people of the importance of public transit for daily transportation in Montréal.”
The “Let’s reconnect” campaign will last for eight weeks, reminding customers that it is time to find their footing and get back to their pre-pandemic routines. Whether that means seeing friends, colleagues and loved ones, going out to restaurants, bars and museums or staying active at sports facilities, dance studios or gyms—public transit is the best way to reconnect.
Currently, ridership in STM regular network is at 59% compared to a similar period pre-pandemic:
- Métro: 56 %
- Bus: 61%
- And Transport adapté: 66%
The STM estimates that ridership will reach 75% to 85% of pre-pandemic levels in the fall.
The STM is opting for a 360° approach, hoping to meet the varying needs of customers, employees, large employers and high-traffic locations by dividing the campaign into three components:
- An emotional component, focused on reconnecting with customers.
- A practical component, focused on supporting customers who have been inactive during the pandemic and helping them return to the network.
- A component targeting STM employees, both those who have been on the front lines since the start of the pandemic and those who are preparing to return to the office after two years of telework.
Campaign materials will include:
- Advertisements: a large-scale ad campaign to reposition public transit as a top choice in transportation
- TV and radio
- Social media
- Website: an online repository of helpful information for public transit users
- Videos: clips featuring experts to reassure customers about the topics that matter to them
- Service planning https://www.stm.info/fr/a-propos/decouvrez-la-STM-et-son-histoire/la-stm-en-videos