Commission du transport en commun
19 April 2017 / 19 avril 2017
Submitted on April 11, 2017
Soumis le 11 avril 2017
Manager/Gestionnaire et conseillère stratégique au directeur général/Transportation Services Department/Direction générale des transports
Jocelyne Bégin, Manager & Strategic Advisor to the General Manager/Gestionnaire et conseillère stratégique au directeur général/Transportation Services Department/Direction générale des transports
613-580-2424 ext./poste 52185, Jocelyne.Begin@ottawa.ca
Ward: CITY WIDE / À L'ÉCHELLE DE LA VILLE
File Number: ACS2017-TSD-TS-0001
SUBJECT: Ready for Rail O-Train Confederation Line Communication, Marketing, Information and Education Campaign
OBJET: Campagne de Sensibilisation, d’Information, de Marketing et de Communication pour la ligne de la Confédération de l’O-Train – prêts pour l'O-Train
That the Transit Commission receive this report for information.
RECOMMANDATION DU RAPPORT
Que la Commission du transport en commun reçoive ce rapport à titre d'information.
The introduction of the O-Train Confederation Line light rail line in 2018 is a historic event that is going to transform Ottawa’s transit network from a bus-centric to a multi-modal transit system. The new 12.5km light rail line will feature several state of the art elements, including: 34 electric Alstom Citadis Spirit Light Rail cars and 13 modern fully accessible stations. It will provide reliable and efficient rail service with fare-paid zones to simplify transfers; audio-visual bilingual customer help points at ticket machines; an enhanced station experience with clear signage and wayfinding, passenger information displays for next train time; and station designs that emphasize safety, accessibility and security at the forefront, CCTV, Transecure waiting areas, slip-resistant low-glare floors, emergency passenger intercoms onboard the trains and throughout the stations.
In preparation for this transformation, OC Transpo is working to ensure a positive end-to-end customer travel experience starting on day one of revenue service. To understand the current customer experience and how it will change, OC Transpo undertook a Multi-Modal Customer Journey project to help identify and document all the interaction points customers currently experience with OC Transpo service, how they anticipate their commute will change, and what elements of their journey were most important to them. As part of the roll out of service, staff want to ensure that the customer is at the forefront of all critical elements associated with the service.
Using the information gained from the Customer Journey project, OC Transpo has established the “Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness campaign. The campaign is focused on creating awareness, building excitement, and equipping customers with the information they need to use the O-Train Confederation Line system in 2018.
This report details the “Ready for Rail” campaign’s background, communications objectives, approach and progress to date.
On July 14, 2011, Council approved the implementation plan for the Ottawa Light Rail Transit (OLRT) project (ACS2011-ICS-RIO-0002). On July 8, 2015, City Council approved the 2015-2018 Term of Council Priorities (ACS2015-CMR-OCM-0016), and the 2015-2018 Strategic Plan includes Transportation and Mobility Strategic Objective TM5: “Ensure reliable, safe, accessible and affordable transit services”. Linked to this Objective, the Plan included Strategic Initiative 16, “Making the O-Train’s Confederation Line an integrated part of the OC Transpo system”.
The O-Train Confederation Line was approved unanimously by Council in December 2012 (ACS2012-ICS-RIO-004) and is currently being designed and constructed by Rideau Transit Group (RTG), a private sector consortium of world-leading infrastructure firms. The project represents the largest and most ambitious public infrastructure project in the city of Ottawa since the building of the Rideau Canal. It also represents the most significant change to public transit in Ottawa since the days of the Ottawa Electric Street Railway. Altogether, the O-Train Confederation Line is the first phase of rail projects approved by Council in the 2008 and 2013 Transportation Master Plans (TMP). In total, the TMP calls for more than 40 kilometers of new light rail to be built over the coming decades.
The O-Train Confederation Line Features: Network, Trains, and Stations
Upon the completion of the conversion of Bus Rapid Transit to Light Rail (the first in the world), and when the O-Train Confederation Line enters into revenue service in 2018, Ottawa’s transit network will have transformed to a multi-modal transit system.
The O-Train Confederation Line is a 12.5 kilometre electrified light rail system running from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station. The system includes a 2.5 kilometre tunnel through the downtown core, 13 stations (4 underground: Lyon, Parliament, Rideau, and St-Laurent), and a Maintenance and Storage Facility at Belfast Yard where the train cars will be maintained and stored.
Operating on the line in 2018 will be a fleet of 34 fully electric O-Train Confederation Line Alstom Citadis Spirit Light Rail cars. Each electric two-car train has the capacity to carry 600 customers. Each train is also equipped with several features aimed at making the customer’s journey as comfortable as possible, including but not limited to: 14 doors for efficient boarding and disembarking; 100% low floors that are low glare, slip resistant and even with the platform edge; eight cooperative seating areas; winter features including insulation, double-glazed panoramic windows, and individual car heating with heated floors; summer acclimatization; yellow grab bars at accessible heights; and, on-board next-station announcement systems.
The 13 stations along the line will feature a series of world-class amenities, including: consistent “O” branding and wayfinding (lanterns, pylons, signage and network maps etc.); escalators; bicycle parking and stairway runnels; ticket machines; fare gates; customer information points; fare-paid zones for convenient transfers; spacious and secure platforms with clear signage; audible and visual announcements; heated waiting areas; public art; safety features including monitored video cameras, emergency help phones, and Transecure areas on each station platform; and, accessibility features including two elevators, tactile wayfinding tiles and platform edge indicator strips. Several stations will also feature other amenities, such as sheltered bicycle parking.
On opening day in 2018, the O-Train Confederation Line will be the busiest light rail transit line in North America, featuring the ability to carry approximately 10,000 passengers per hour, per direction. Once operational, the O-Train Confederation Line will provide for a reliable and efficient transit service with trains arriving very frequently. The O-Train Confederation Line will also provide several environmental benefits, including the reduction of 94,000 tonnes of green houses gasses and 4,500 tonnes of criteria air contaminants each year; and, the reduction of 10 million litres of diesel each year. The fully electric O-Train Confederation Line trains are also designed with a regenerative braking process that will provide power for use by other trains on the system.
The Multi-Modal Transformation and the 2018 Multi-Modal Customer Journey Project
The introduction of the O-Train Confederation Line into revenue service in 2018 will trigger several changes for our customers. First and foremost, Ottawa’s transit system will be transformed into a multi-modal transit system. The transformation is also the most significant change in the history of OC Transpo, which in addition to changes for customers, will result in changes to OC Transpo employee’s roles, as well as to policies, systems, standard operating procedures, processes, technologies, signage, and more. Most importantly, however, is that the customer experience will change for many users with the introduction of a transfer as they connect from bus to train along their commute.
In preparation for the transformation of Ottawa’s transit network from a bus-centric system to a multi-modal transit system, OC Transpo is working to ensure a positive end-to-end customer travel experience starting on day one of O-Train Confederation Line revenue service. In support of this goal, OC Transpo completed the Multi-Modal Customer Journey project to help put the interests of customers at the heart of all decision-making.
Initiated in 2014, the Multi-Modal Customer Journey project was put in place to help OC Transpo better understand the customer experience, and to identify and document all the interaction points customers currently experience with OC Transpo service, how they anticipate their commute will change, and what elements of their journey were most important to them as customers.
The Multi-Modal Customer Journey project featured two phases. Phase 1 of the project included focus groups that were held with OC Transpo customers to explore the current and future customer journey. These customer focus groups included a full range of customers, including seniors, youth, customers with accessibility needs and customers with different types of ridership patterns.
The first phase of the project also included sessions with OC Transpo staff who explored the current and desired future customer experience by putting themselves in the shoes of one of eight customers and explored every aspect of the customers’ current and future journeys.
Lastly, a third and final session was held with staff from every City department to understand their department’s perspective on the service and identification of issues and opportunities.
The results of the customer focus groups and staff sessions were brought together to develop customer journey maps for each customer type, and to identify the issues and opportunities or the “moments that matter” (positive “love points” and “challenges”). Key findings from Phase 1 included the following:
There are similar positive and negative moments that matter across customer segments;
For customers, the priority is a stress-free journey;
Customers are looking forward to using amenities such as ticket machines;
The transfer is the single biggest challenge; and,
Overall, the key elements that are important to customers are: reliability; information; safety; staff interaction; ease of use; comfort; cleanliness; and the behaviour of others.
In Phase 2 of the project, OC Transpo conducted a session with customers, the Chair of Transit Commission, public member of the Transit Commission and staff to further draw out the issues, opportunities, and challenges to the future customer journey. Participants were asked to describe the benefits of the O-Train Confederation Line and what they are most and least looking forward to in 2018. Key insights from this phase included the following:
The greatest advantages of the O-Train Confederation Line will be its reliability, access to downtown, speed, and convenience/ease of use;
Things that will make up for the transfer include frequency, time and a reliable commute;
The O-Train Confederation Line helps Ottawa become a modern, world-class city and accommodate growth; and,
Customers are not looking forward to transferring, growing pains as kinks are worked out, and construction leading up to the opening of O-Train Confederation Line.
The critical findings from the Multi-Modal Customer Journey project phases have been embedded into the operational readiness projects being carried out by the department and have identified solutions to the challenges and opportunities for excellent customer service. For example, the customer journey mapping revealed the importance of staff interaction with customers, and influenced OC Transpo’s decisions regarding staffing at stations. Additionally, the customer journey mapping also identified the need for clear and consistent directional signage and wayfinding to assist customers with the transfer from bus to train and train to bus. The results of the customer journey mapping project also provided important intelligence for the “Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness Campaign that will focus on building awareness, knowledge and excitement about the O-Train Confederation Line.
“Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness Campaign
Building on the key findings of all this work, OC Transpo sought to heighten its customer experience and create a more meaningful connection with customers.
The “Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness campaign is a comprehensive communication, marketing, information and education campaign that will help prepare customers and build excitement for the new multi-modal transit service. The campaign is structured to provide customer information; create excitement, pride, understanding, and confidence in the system; encourage the use of the new light rail transit system; and, reinforce a positive emotional connection with current and future customers. To this end, the primary objectives of the “Ready for Rail” campaign are to:
Create awareness and equip customers with the information they need to adapt to the bus network transformation in advance of O-Train Confederation Line revenue service launch;
Create awareness and equip customers with the information they need to seamlessly transition to their new journey the day of O-Train Confederation Line revenue service launch; and,
Create awareness and excitement for the launch of the O-Train Confederation Line.
Target audiences for the campaign include the following:
OC Transpo customers (messaging will focus on preparing them for their new journey following revenue service launch);
General public and residents (messaging will focus on preparations as well as enhancement of awareness about the O-Train Confederation Line);
Federal and provincial governments (OC Transpo will leverage other communications channels to promote the “Ready for Rail” campaign messaging);
Community associations, local businesses, and special interest or community groups representing a variety of groups including, but not limited to immigrants and new Canadians, accessibility, cycling, pedestrian, seniors, and students and businesses/employers (OC Transpo will seek to leverage and equip community groups and business/employers so they can assist as communications channels for the “Ready for Rail” messaging);
Tourism and visitor organizations and events (targeted messaging about the O-Train Confederation Line through various channels including City media assets);
Media (who will be provided with communications materials for articles, distribution, etc);
Municipal political stakeholders (the Mayor, Transit Commission members and members of Council will be equipped to act as champions of the O-Train Confederation Line, with a toolkit of “Ready for Rail” communications materials for deployment via social media and their other channels);
City of Ottawa employees (staff will be engaged through internal communications channels to act as campaign ambassadors in their own communication networks); and,
Having established the objectives and target audiences, in January 2016, OC Transpo issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for marketing and communications for vendors to develop the customer readiness campaign for the build-up and launch of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018 (originally entitled “18 minus 18”, now referred to as the “Ready for Rail” campaign). In April 2016, Mediaplus Advertising was chosen as the successful proponent.
Mediaplus has designed the “Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness campaign with the priority being on communicating what customers need to know so that they are prepared and excited for their new journey on the system. Using the results and themes drawn from the Multi-Modal Customer Journey project, Mediaplus has sought to highlight the features that have been identified by users as important to them and have been included in the design of the system, in addition to the basic features. As such, the campaign has been focused around the following ten communication topics:
• Frequency of service: Provide customers with information about train frequency and ease of transfer on both ends of their journey to mitigate the transfer challenge that was identified in the 2018 Multi-Modal Customer Journey Mapping exercise;
• Train capacity and doors: Provide customers with information about train passenger capacity and the design of the train;
• Route and stations: Provide customers with information about the 13 O-Train Confederation Line Stations, major transfer points, and full route alignment;
• Automated fare gates: Provide customers with information they need to use the fare gates with ease;
• Ticket machines with customer help points: Provide customers with the information they need to use the new ticket machines to buy individual fares or load their smartcards and communicate with customer service representatives through the audio-visual customer help points;
• Fare paid zones for transaction-free connections: Educate customers about fare paid zones to facilitate transfers between different transit modes and to mitigate the transfer challenge that had been identified in the 2018 Multi-Modal Customer Journey Mapping exercise;
• Bus, cycling, walking and riding connections to stations: Provide customers with information to get to and from stations by various means of transportation;
• Accessibility features: Educate customers about the numerous accessibility features in each station and onboard the train;
• Safety and security features: Inform customers about the numerous safety and security features in each station and onboard the train, including monitored cameras; and,
• “Ready for Rail” online travel planner: Inform and educate customers about the new online travel planner to make their route connection as easy as possible.
The “Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness campaign will launch in Q1 of 2017 and will ramp up to and through opening day in 2018. Altogether there will be four components to the campaign:
1. “Getting Ready for Rail” – Bus network transformation (2017 – 2018): The objective of this component is to equip passengers with the knowledge they need to adapt to changes happening to the bus network in preparation for the O-Train Confederation Line. Communications will provide information about changes to bus routes, numbers, and service identification, as the bus network is transformed in 2017 and 2018 in preparation for the O-Train Confederation Line. Although outside of the scope of Mediaplus, products will be aligned with the “Ready for Rail” messaging in style, approach and theme where possible.
2. “Get Ready for Rail” – Building Awareness, Educating Customers (2017): This component emphasizes laying the foundations for awareness and anticipation for the O-Train Confederation Line and begins the process of educating customers. Through a series of key facts and simple “how-to” demonstrations, communications during this phase are focused on enhancing the profile of the O-Train Confederation Line and increasing awareness about its route and physical structure, how the customer journey will change, and its high-level benefits to customers and the community. The graphics and videos focus on key features about the O-Train Confederation Line and show off the physical aspects of the system such as trains, stations and fare gates that are not yet ready for live photography. To this end, a series of videos and info graphics (featuring a graphic visual style) have been created and will be pushed out through various online, social media and print channels. Examples of the Phase 1 “Get Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness Communications is provided in the Supporting Document section of this report.
3. “I’m Ready for Rail” – Imparting Knowledge, Building Excitement (2018): Building on the foundations laid in the 2017 communications, this component will seek to create excitement and to further equip customers with the knowledge they’ll require to use the new system. Once trains, stations, and fare gates are ready for photography, communications will transition to a live video and photographic style and will feature real customers as spokespeople using real O-Train Confederation Line assets to demonstrate the customer journey. The communication topics will be the same as in 2017, with a higher frequency of messaging that will ramp up towards the launch and provide more detailed “how-to” information.
4. “I’m Ready for Rail” – Service Launch (2018): In the lead-up to the O-Train Confederation Line opening day, launch-focused communications will create awareness of, and excitement and enthusiasm about, the launch of revenue service.
For each component a wide variety of products will be developed, including shareable and social media-friendly postings, videos, printable images, posters, and messages (examples of some of these materials are provided in Document 1 of the Supporting Documents section of this report).
To maximize efficiency and reach, the campaign will make extensive use of a variety of communication channels, including but not limited to:
• City Assets: Communications will be displayed on City bus shelters, digital billboards, video screens in City facilities, interior bus advertisements, on-board take-ones, and other City-owned assets.
• Media: Media channels will include French and English print media; online, mobile, Facebook and Twitter advertising; and, campus, senior and multicultural media outlets. Maximum exposure will be achieved in 2018 immediately prior to the O-Train Confederation Line revenue service launch, with paid media including radio promotions and a newspaper insert. Earned media will be sought through initiatives such as Public Service Announcements, media releases and media events.
• Online/Digital/Social Media: City and OC Transpo social media, website and media relations channels will display campaign messaging, updates and information, and events will be organized to promote the campaign in conjunction with construction milestone announcements. Stakeholders, partners, City officials and City employees will also be engaged in supporting a social media campaign push.
• Public Relations: The campaign will be coordinated with other City campaigns, and will feature street teams and displays at major Ottawa 2017 events, such as Canada Day festivities. Outreach to the public through a variety of additional channels will also occur, such as through local conferences, career fairs, tours and working with existing community groups.
• Education Programs and Outreach: Staff will work with school boards implement an education program that engages students as ambassadors of the new multi-modal system. Staff will also work with local schools to provide presentations and educational materials. Staff will also engage various community groups to provide materials that they can share with their memberships.
Internal communications: The campaign will leverage internal relationships including City officials and staff. An electronic toolkit of communication products will be made available for sharing by City officials and partners, and content will be updated monthly to provide new information, for instance in web content or social media. The campaign will also engage City of Ottawa staff, providing them with the information they need to act as ambassadors for the O-Train Confederation Line and to share with their social networks.
Following the Transit Commission meeting, the “Get Ready for Rail” materials will enter circulation through the various channels identified, signaling the ‘launch’ of the “Ready for Rail” campaign.
The launch of the “Ready for Rail” campaign represents an important milestone in the journey towards the introduction of the O-Train Confederation Line. OC Transpo is eager to begin sharing information with customers and stakeholders, and to build excitement for this monumental and historic transformation in the City of Ottawa.
With the new multi-modal transit system, rural bus routes will connect to one of the O-Train Confederation Line major transfer stations. The customer readiness campaign will include information for customers in rural areas, to ensure that all customers are prepared to seamlessly transition to their new journey on day one of the O-Train Confederation Line revenue service launch.
OC Transpo obtained feedback from customers and City staff on the new multi-modal customer journey and its implications through the 2018 Multi-Modal Customer Journey project. OC Transpo also conducted focus testing of the customer readiness communication campaign materials with customers, members of the general public and various City departmental staff.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE(S) COMMENTS
This report has not been considered by advisory committees.
There are no legal impediments to receiving this report for information.
RISK MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONS
There are no risk implications.
There are no financial implications associated with the report.
The O-Train Confederation Line stations will be fully accessible, with features including barrier-free fare gates, tactile wayfinding tiles, platform edge indicator strips, two elevators that serve most platforms, and barrier-free ticket machines featuring Braille, raised text, and audible voice instructions via speakers or headphone jacks. The Alstom Citadis Spirit trains will be fully accessible, with features including 100% low-floor cars that are level with station platforms, large doors, audible and visual next station announcements in each car, colour contrasted handholds and grab bars throughout the train, slip-resistant, low-glare floors, and co-operative seating areas on each car for customers using mobility devices or for those who may have difficulty standing. All OC Transpo buses are fully accessible.
The 2018 Multi-Modal Customer Journey project featured a specific customer persona with accessibility requirements, and as part of the project, outreach and feedback was sought and received from accessibility organizations as part of the focus group sessions. The feedback received informed the key insights and is reflected in one of the “Ready for Rail” campaign themes “Built for Accessibility”.
The “Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness campaign will include graphics produced in accessible and large print in all print media formats, including interior transit cards, transit bus boards, and transit shelter posters. Creative produced for electronic formats, including Ottawa.ca, OCTranspo.com, and social media platforms will include large accessible fonts, plain language, and videos featuring captioning.
The O-Train Confederation Line will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 38,000 tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) per year by 2031, and will also reduce air and noise pollution.
TERM OF COUNCIL PRIORITIES
The On Track 2018 program is aligned with the 2015-2018 Term of Council Priorities for Transportation and Mobility, Service Excellence, and Sustainable Environmental Services, including the following Strategic Objectives:
TM5, Ensure reliable, safe, accessible and affordable transit services. Within TM5, Strategic Initiative 16 is to make the O-Train’s Confederation Line an integrated part of the OC Transpo system; completion of the multi-modal transformation projects is a performance measure of this strategic initiative;
TM1, Build a world class environmentally sustainable light rail transit system. On Track 2018 is working with the Rail Implementation Office to achieve this objective.
SE1, Improve the client experience through established service expectations. On Track 2018 projects are being planned and implemented with a focus on providing a positive end-to-end customer experience;
SE3, Develop positive, effective, and engaged employees committed to the service promise. On Track 2018 includes a focus on training, internal communication and employee engagement; and,
ES1, Support an environmentally sustainable Ottawa. The O-Train Confederation Line will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution and noise pollution.
Document 1: Examples of the “Get Ready for Rail” Customer Readiness campaign creative
Staff will undertake any further direction from the Transit Commission.