Tuesday - 315-430 Pate SCORT 9 24 13 v3x

Report
Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor
Amtrak Cascades Passenger Service
Lynn Peterson
Katy Taylor
Secretary
Assistant Secretary
of Administration
Ron Pate
Rail Director
SCORT – Maximizing revenues on state corridors
September 24, 2013
Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor
Passenger Rail – Amtrak Cascades
467-mile corridor
• 300 miles in WA
• 134 miles in OR
• 33 miles in B.C.
BNSF and UP own the tracks
Amtrak operates the service
• WSDOT pays Amtrak via contract
Talgo and Amtrak maintain equipment
• Washington pays Talgo via contract
• Five trainsets:
 Washington owns three
 Amtrak owns two
 Oregon will add two in 2013
www.wsdot.wa.gov/rail
www.AmtrakCascades.com
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Maximizing Revenue Starts with Knowing Your
Target Audiences
• Do research – qualitative and quantitative.
• Gather strong data on who your target audiences are and use that
information to maximize media spending and promotions.
Then use your existing resources strategically:
• Speak to the people who already like you.
 Work with Amtrak to develop an Amtrak Guest Rewards
program tailored to your route. Our recent AGR promotion
reached 170,000 members at NO COST to us.
 We increased the reach by posting to AmtrakCascades.com
and our social media channels.
• AAA promotion including online
advertising at their expense and
coverage in the Journey Magazine.
 AAA membership makes them a
captive audience (we like that!).
 Weekly emails to 230,000 members
 Featured in Journeys magazine.
 Book online at AAA website.
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Maximizing Revenue Starts with Knowing Your
Target Audiences and Finding Matches
• Sounders FC is our local, very-popular, professional soccer team.
• Sounders FC and Amtrak Cascades have a very strong
demographic match.
• Our partnership yields:
 Online ads on the Sounders FC site for 13 weeks.
o Sounders FC home page ad in weeks 12 and 13.
 Six Matchday Magazine insertions.
 Email inclusions and an exclusive email to all registered
Sounders FC fans.
 Social media Tweets from spokesperson Sounders FC midfielder
Brad Evans while he is on the train.
Bistro display advertising builds on existing partnership:
“What are you a fan of? Amtrak Cascades takes you there.”
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Maximizing Revenue
• Use revenue-protected sales:
 Sales can incentivize potential customers to try your service.
 Using paid media to advertise sales keeps your service name in
front of past, current and potential customers.
 People searching for your sale price will often buy tickets at
other times at a cost greater than the sale price.
 Amtrak Pricing and Revenue Management can help you
determine which types of sales may be right for you.
• Keep an electronic mailing list:
 Our Amtrak Cascades list has over 20,000 email addresses.
 We use this list for quarterly eNewsletters and other specials.
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Cost Savings = Reduced Need for Revenue
• Use in-house photographers:
 Often photos are just as high-quality.
 Easier to schedule.
 No royalty fees.
 No staff time spent tracking royalty rights.
 Removes risk of any royalty infringement.
• Use in-house recording for radio.
• Use in-house graphics.
• Radio promotions = free advertising.
• Take advantage of Amtrak promotions
for distressed inventory – both offers
are random so buyers cannot
detect a pattern:
 Rail Sale – offers last-minute
unsold inventory.
 Cheap Escapes – offers inventory
Photo credit: Bruce Ikenberry, WSDOT, Amtrak Cascades in the Puyallup
unlikely to sell, at a reduced price. Valley with Mt. Rainier in the distance
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Maximize Revenue via Online Bookings
• 60-75 percent of all travel bookings are now completed
online:
 Make your site user-friendly.
 Code your site using responsive design:
o Seamless functionality between smartphones,
iPhones, tablets and PCs.
 Improve your search results (search engines change
their algorithms constantly to avoid scammers - we
have to change our metadata, page structure and
page information to stay ahead of the curve).
 Ecommerce support is
available from Amtrak
so you can add the
fare finder and other
widgets to your website.
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More Revenue-inducing programs
• 2:1 cards incentivize new customers to try
Amtrak Cascades.
• Social Media – in addition to using social media to
boost the marketing programs discussed
previously, new social media programs are being
developed to further maximize revenue.
• Legislatively designated pilot program to partner
with businesses (like Victoria Clipper and others)
to explore new marketing ventures. The proviso
supports the use of a graduate student intern to
explore and evaluate new marketing programs.
• Schools on Trains – great program to get kids on
trains. Benefit is two-fold:
1. Generates ridership and revenue midweek.
2. Kids get to experience the train and have a
great experience with their peers, which
creates young ambassadors for our service.
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Questions?
Ron Pate
Director
Rail Division
(360) 705-6903
[email protected]
Web links:
•
Rail Division - www.wsdot.wa.gov/rail
•
Amtrak Cascades - www.AmtrakCascades.com
•
AASHTO Standing Committee on Rail Transportation http://rail.transportation.org/Pages/default.aspx
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