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Commuter Culture - US - November 2009

This report explores the public transit market in the US. It provides insight into the external and internal factors affecting service and ridership trends, and what they mean for launching ad and marketing campaigns via buses, subways and rail systems and taxicab fleets.

This report provides an in-depth examination of the public transit market for industry retailers, distributors, and marketers interested in pursuing opportunities to capitalize on trends within segments and to evaluate the competition. Additionally, the report will examine the opportunities that are available through these three transit segments: buses, subways and rail and taxicabs.

Specific questions that are answered in this report include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What effects do rising gasoline costs and the economic downturn have on the overall market
  • How can transit operators use environmental concerns and rising fuel prices to increase ridership
  • Which companies are refining how to advertise via public transit, and how can others learn from their success
  • How can transit systems partner with municipalities and other industries to boost awareness and ridership
  • How can transit systems encourage ridership among commuters who may feel committed to driving cars
  • How can transit systems take advantage of the economic downturn to appeal to consumers seeking budget-conscious commuting options
  • What media are industry leaders using to deliver effective marketing campaigns via public transit, and what actions need to be taken to improve visibility
  • What transit systems do consumers ride the most? The least? The farthest? The shortest?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Transit advertising represents 11% of total outdoor advertising market
                      • Transit advertising reaches mass audience in sustained, frequent visits
                        • Buses represent the transit advertising with the greatest respondent recall
                          • Transit mileage up 11% between 2003-07; bus mileage suffers decline
                            • Transit systems suffering budget gaps from loss of state, federal funding
                              • New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles dominate top three transit systems
                                • New York transit systems dominate number of passenger miles
                                  • Consumer survey results
                                  • Insights and Opportunities

                                    • Create interactive campaigns through integration of digital billboards, texts
                                      • Bicycle, car rental and sharing companies can form transit partnerships
                                        • Partner with transit to provide special themed rides for events, promotions
                                        • Inspire Insights

                                            • Trend 1: Staying Connected
                                              • Socialization and interdependency are the biggest things on the internet
                                                • Transit system operators use social networking to facilitate ridership
                                                  • Trend 2: Tracking Our Location
                                                    • The geo-spatial web is changing our relationship to our space
                                                      • GPS can connect car waiting commuters to buses, trains, wherever they are
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Transit advertising one of four segments of total outdoor ad market
                                                            • Figure 1: Revenues, by outdoor advertising segment, 2008
                                                            • Figure 2: Total outdoor advertising revenues, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                            • Figure 3: Total outdoor advertising revenues, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-14
                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Transit advertising reaches mass audience in sustained, frequent visits
                                                                • Figure 4: Number of advertising displays, by transit segment, 2009
                                                              • Buses represent the transit advertising with the greatest respondent recall
                                                                • Figure 5: Ads noticed outside the home over the past 30 days, February 2008-March 2009
                                                            • Segment Performance—Buses

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • Buses offer either fixed-route service or limited shuttle service
                                                                  • Advertising opportunities on buses are segmented by exterior, interior
                                                                    • Exterior bus advertising
                                                                      • Interior bus advertising
                                                                      • Segment Performance—Rail Systems and Subways

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Commuter rail, heavy rail differentiated by service areas, pricing
                                                                            • Advertising segmented into in-station media, interior cars, full car branding
                                                                              • In-Station Media
                                                                                • Interior Car Cards
                                                                                  • Subway Brand Trains
                                                                                  • Segment Performance—Taxicabs

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Taxicab advertising meant for targeting high density populations
                                                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                                                        • Transit ridership up 13% between 2003-08; growth sustains in all modes
                                                                                          • Figure 6: Unlinked passenger trips, by public transit mode, 1998-2008
                                                                                        • Transit mileage up 11% between 2003-07; bus mileage suffers decline
                                                                                          • Figure 7: Passenger miles, by public transit mode, 1997-2007
                                                                                        • Transit systems suffering budget gaps from loss of state, federal funding
                                                                                          • Fewer miles traveled by car may create increased reliance on public transit
                                                                                            • Figure 8: Consumer vehicle miles traveled, all U.S. roads and streets, 1998-2008
                                                                                          • As new car sales decline, consumers may rely more on public transit
                                                                                            • Zipcar, I-GO create partnerships with public transit to increase ridership
                                                                                            • Leading Transit Markets

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles dominate top three transit systems
                                                                                                  • New York transit systems dominate number of passenger miles
                                                                                                      • Figure 9: 25 Largest U.S. transit agencies, by unlinked passenger trips and passenger miles, 2007
                                                                                                    • Breakdown of leading transit systems
                                                                                                      • MTA New York City Transit
                                                                                                        • Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)
                                                                                                          • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
                                                                                                            • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
                                                                                                              • Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
                                                                                                              • Innovation and Innovators

                                                                                                                • Apple brands single subway station in Chicago to promote nearby store
                                                                                                                  • Canadian company innovates moving picture ads for world rail systems
                                                                                                                    • Google Maps partners with municipalities to provide mobile transit guides
                                                                                                                    • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                                                      • Transit systems highlight recession in ads to emphasize cost savings
                                                                                                                        • Analysis of television spots
                                                                                                                          • Using congestion and fuel economy to emphasize public transit
                                                                                                                            • Figure 10: Miami Dade Transit ad, 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 11: Utah Transit Authority ad, 2009
                                                                                                                          • Working professionals are targeted by emphasizing the gain in lost leisure time
                                                                                                                            • Figure 12: Connecticut Commuter Services ad, 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 13: Amtrak Capitol Corridor ad, 2009
                                                                                                                          • Incentives, discounts may impact consumers who are committed to driving cars
                                                                                                                            • Figure 14: KAT ad, 2009
                                                                                                                            • Figure 15: Transit Authority of River City (TARC) ad, 2009
                                                                                                                        • Consumer Transit Preference

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Nearly 80% of consumers do not take public transit; rapid transit dominates
                                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Transit preference, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                              • Respondents aged 25-34 prefer rapid transit most, commuter rail
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 17: Transit preference, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                • Density, available rail and bus systems make Northeast transit friendliest
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Transit preference, by region, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Highest earning households most likely to use rapid transit, commuter rail
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: transit preference, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                  • Frequency of Transit Use

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • One third respondents prefer public transit more than everyday vehicle
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Public transit frequency, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Younger respondents more likely to use equal mix of transit, vehicles
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Public transit frequency, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Higher-earning households prefer public transit over private vehicles
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Public transit frequency, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                    • Purpose of Transit Use

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Work commutes represent the most common use of public transit
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Reasons for taking public transit, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Those aged 25-34, 35-44 rate highest for work commutes, visiting friends
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Reasons for taking public transit, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                        • Highest-earning households use transit most for commuting, airport runs
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Reasons for taking public transit, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                      • Products Used While Aboard Transit

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Cell/smart phones dominate respondent usage while using public transit
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 26: Products used aboard public transit, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Middle-aged respondents just as likely to use technology than young peers
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Products used aboard public transit, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Middle- to highest-income respondents more active with products
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Products used aboard public transit, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                              • College graduates most likely to read, entertain themselves on transit
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Products used aboard public transit, by education, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                            • Awareness of Transit Advertising

                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                • Exterior sides of buses, trains most viewed transit advertising
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Awareness of public transit advertising, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                • The youngest respondents respond more to moving billboards
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Awareness of public transit advertising, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Lower-income households less impacted by transit advertising
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Awareness of public transit advertising, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                              • Time Spent On Transit

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Average public transit time for respondents: 15-30 minutes each trip
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Time spent on public transit, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Oldest respondents travel for the longest time; age 35 is threshold
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Time spent on public transit, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Lower-earning households traveling the longest and also shortest
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Time spent on public transit, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Longest commute times in the West, shortest in the south
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Time spent on public transit, by region, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                • Areas Most Covered By Transit

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Most frequent public transit commuting pattern: Within city limits
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Areas most covered by public transit, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Urban public transit patterns are most popular among the youngest
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 38: Areas most covered by public transit, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Wealthiest households most likely to take transit from suburbs to city
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Areas most covered by public transit, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                    • Suburban-to-urban commutes most likely take place in Northeast
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 40: Areas most covered by public transit, by region, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes Regarding Transit Advertising

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Respondents are receptive to transit advertising, especially if helpful
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Attitudes regarding transit advertising, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • Age groups 45 and under most receptive to public transit advertising
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Attitudes regarding transit advertising, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                        • Least wealthy households least engaged in tracking transit advertising
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Attitudes regarding transit advertising, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Reasons Against Using Transit

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • More than half of respondents say their car, truck more convenient than transit
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Consumer reasons against using transit, by gender, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                            • Youngest respondents most concerned about personal safety, filth
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: Consumer reasons against using transit, by age, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • Respondents earning the least most likely to have transit options near work
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Consumer reasons against using transit, by household income, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                              • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                  • Whites least likely to use transit; rapid transit highest among Asians
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: transit preference, by race or Hispanic origin, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks more likely than others to use public transit for running errands
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Reasons for taking public transit, by race and Hispanic origin, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks, Hispanics more active in cell phone use, eating on public transit
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Products used aboard public transit, by race and Hispanic origin, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Hispanics, blacks more aware of public transit advertising than whites
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Awareness of public transit advertising, by race and Hispanic origin, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks take the longest trips, which shows a stronger reliance on transit
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Time spent on public transit, by race and Hispanic origin, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks most likely to use transit within cities, least likely within suburbs
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Areas most covered by public transit, by race and Hispanic origin, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks, Hispanics most likely to focus on advertising while on transit ride
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Attitudes regarding transit advertising, by race and Hispanic origin, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                  • Blacks most likely to work, live near public transit opposed to peer groups
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Consumer reasons against using transit, by race and Hispanic origin, August 24-31, 2009
                                                                                                                                                                • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                    • Oblivious and Cell-Less
                                                                                                                                                                      • Characteristics:
                                                                                                                                                                        • Opportunity:
                                                                                                                                                                          • Airport Averse
                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics:
                                                                                                                                                                              • Opportunity:
                                                                                                                                                                                • Aware, Avid and Active
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Characteristics:
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Opportunity:
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Characteristic tables:
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Vehicle ownership, by public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Public transit preference, by public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Use of public transit, by public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Activities performed on public transit, by public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Awareness of public transit advertising, by public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Areas most traveled on public transit, by public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Time spend on public transit per trip, by public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Attitudes towards public transit, by public transit clusters, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic tables:
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Public transit clusters, by gender, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Public transit clusters, by age group, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Public transit clusters, by household income group, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Public transit clusters, by race, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Public transit clusters, by Hispanic origin, August 2009
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cluster methodology:
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Alliance Of Automobile Manufacturers, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Bebo Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Canon (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • CBS Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Chrysler LLC
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ford Motor Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • General Motors Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Humana Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Jaguar Cars North America
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mazda Motor Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mercedes-Benz USA
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • National Railroad Passenger Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Outdoor Advertising Association of Great Britain
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                                                                                        • U.S. Department of Transportation
                                                                                                                                                                                        • University of Michigan, The
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Washington Post Company (The)
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Yelp Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Zipcar, Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Commuter Culture - US - November 2009

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