May 25, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITY COUNCILLORS & DOWNTOWN OFFICE WORKERS/VISITORS PLEDGE TO COMMUTE BY TRANSIT FOR ANNUAL #BUSISBETTER CAMPAIGN: JUNE 6-10
Downtown Winnipeg – A rally for citizens to get active and take transit during Commuter Challenge will mark the return of the annual #busisbetter campaign, which promotes the convenience and reliability of transit. From June 6 to 10, coffee and reusable transit pass holders/coffee sleeves will reward those coming downtown by bus. New this year, current transit users will be able to nominate 300 of their co-workers who normally drive to work for a free five-day transit pass. City Councillors Jenny Gerbasi, Janice Lukes, Ross Eadie, and Cindy Gilroy have made the pledge to take transit for the week, as part of the campaign.
Local artist and community leader, Kal Barteski, who created the branding for the campaign, will be downtown making art for transit goers at the Westbound Graham at Edmonton bus stop (south of Manitoba Hydro Place) on Thursday June 9 from 7:30-9:00AM. Up to 200 free cookie coupons will also be given out to #busisbetter participants (first come, first served) to be redeemed at the Downtown Farmers’ Market.
“We know transit is important to our members and in connecting people to our downtown,” says Stefano Grande, Executive Director of the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. “If we can engage more downtown workers and other commuters to use transit more often, we’re sure to see less reliance on travel by car. With more than 45,000 trips made into the downtown each morning by car, the need for sustainable transportation options, like transit, is absolutely critical.”
The #busisbetter campaign features fun tag lines, crowdsourced by the public, of things to do on the bus, like: finishing a crossword, watching a funny cat video, or even cramming for a test. During the #busisbetter week, Brent Bellamy from Number TEN Architectural Group will be posting his popular Winnipeg Then/Now renderings on Twitter while on the bus. Tourism Winnipeg’s Mike Green will muse about the newest and most notable restaurants in the city for Peg City Grub’s blog. The goal of the #busisbetter campaign is not only to encourage transit use and to ensure it is a positive experience for first-time users, but an opportunity to highlight the importance of transit-oriented development in and around downtown Winnipeg, as it relates to the utilization of transit services within the city
Stats from past #busisbetter users:
- Most used their Transit Pass 6-10 times during #busisbetter week
- Almost all agreed their experience was enjoyable, clean, safe, relaxing and convenient
- 87% said they would recommend transit ridership to a friend
- In the past, sponsorship was sought from downtown restaurants/shops and was seen as a way to give back to BIZ members. All sponsors were recognized through signage at the morning giveaway stations, as well as the Downtown BIZ social media that, in turn, brought new customers and increased pedestrian traffic!
Thank you to our generous partners and sponsors: Winnipeg Transit, Green Action Centre, Starbucks, Thom Bargen Coffee and Tea, Kal Barteski, and the Winnipeg Transit Riders Association.
For more information, please visit: downtownwinnipegbiz.com/busisbetter
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Emily Ormonde, Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Phone: (204) 958-4626; Email: email@example.com