We ended 2011 by launching GoLive, a Triangle-wide resource for real-time bus arrival times. Damien Graham, Triangle Transit’s Director of Communication and Public Affairs, appeared on a January 2012 episode of My Carolina Today to tout the benefits of GoLive.
We got a lot of positive feedback about GoLive, so we invited cyclists, transit users, and ride sharers to create a special Valentine dedicated to their favorite way to get around. We called this campaign “#GoLove” (get it?).
Members of our marketing staff greeted morning riders at the Regional Transit Center on February 14, 2012. Take a look at the video below to see the #GoLove entries and meet our marketing staff.
There was so much love in 2012! Just before spring, we started shooting our “I Heart Transit” campaign. We asked local business owners to step up and show their support for better transit in the Triangle. For the full gallery, check here.
A marketing staffer drew this homage to some of our participants.
From left to right: a light for our amazing Anonymous Photog, cape for Bull City Burger and Brewery, beer for Tir Na Nog, chicken for Mama Dip, a Stitch-inspired bag, Raleigh Denim jeans, skates for the Carolina Roller Girls, Bronto’s dino (with zesty Cackalacky breath), the Parlour ice cream truck, Burt’s Bees, Merge Music. Not pictured: Eschelon Hospitality, Transloc, Johnny T-Shirt, Spanky’s
We had a goal of making a bigger splash on YouTube in 2012. With a budget of $0, some creativity, and a whole lot of cute, we rolled out It’s Easy, Baby! in May. This video helped earn us the 2012 Adwheel Grand Prize for Social Media.
We unveiled our “I Heart Transit Gallery” and opened up the lovefest to the general public by inviting everyone to step into our photobooth to take a picture for transit. We hosted our first event at Durham’s @Fullsteam, followed by a July date at Raleigh’s Tir Na Nog. Our final event was in October at Chapel Hill’s West End Wine Bar.
Our area became the first in NC to utilize the Bus On Shoulder System (BOSS) on July 16. The program, still in its pilot stage, allows authorized transit buses with trained drivers to operate on the shoulders of selected freeways at low speeds during periods of congestion in order to bypass congested traffic and maintain transit schedules.
The Bull City Connector, Durham’s fare-free route from Duke to Golden Belt, got some fancy new shelters along its route thanks to Durham Area Designers and artists Al Frega of Durham; Christopher Vespermann of Cary; David Wilson of Apex; and Sharon Dowell of Charlotte. The new shelter featuring David Wilson’s stained glass design was unveiled August 1 at the Oldham Towers stop.
Bull City Connector Shelter Art Unveiling August 1, 2012
The shelter and the bus were both featured in @ClarionContent’s Fashion Drive-by. To quote our fashionable friends: “To recognize the spirit, the vitality, and the importance of public transit, we wanted to shoot some of our fashionable Durham men, fully styled, riding the bus, in operation, a Fashion Drive-By on the Bull City Connector. We have a FREE bus, people. Cities this size, this culturally fly, don’t have free public transportation. Surely, not in America. Oh, but yes, here in Durham.”
We moved our annual SmartCommute Challenge to the fall to freshen things up a bit. We started the whole thing right with a carnival-themed kick-off complete with soft pretzels, popcorn, and frozen custard.
While we had no ring toss or lucky ducks on hand, we did manage to have some good, clean (commute) fun. In the Squeal of Fortune (pictured below), contestants spun the wheel for a bike-themed trivia question. Correct answers earned tickets to our raffle contest. Other games included Angry SOVs (an Angry Birds-esque challenge featuring Single Occupancy Vehicles) and Words with Rideshare Friends.
Would you trade your car for a bike? Steve Hinkle did. Hinkle, a chaplain with Duke Chapel’s InterVarsity graduate and faculty ministries, made the switch at the 2011 Tour de Fat. He spoke with our attendees about his drastic lifestyle change and offered insights from his time on the road.
What does all that flipping have to do with transit in the Triangle? The GoTriangle blog explains:
“You might be asking yourself, why are the good people of GoTriangle promoting out and out horseplay on our area’s public transit systems?
Take a look at Wikipedia’s definition of “parkour”:
A physical discipline of movement focused on overcoming obstacles, for the purpose of getting from point A to point B in the fastest and most efficient way possible.
We happen to believe that transit and SmartCommuting (telework, biking, walking, rideshare) can help us overcome congestion and poor air quality here in the Triangle. We also think that transit is an important factor in maintaining our area’s quality of life when 1,000,000 more peoplemove here in the next twenty years.”
We wrapped up the SmartCommute Challenge on October 15. Want to know how much money and emissions were saved? Well, wonder no more: