We were hired by the City of Wichita in 2011 to develop transit service concepts based specifically on feedback gathered through a unique community outreach program. The program aimed to create awareness, educate, and engage targeted stakeholders and the traveling public. The program was also designed to motivate long-term behavioral changes related to transit services.
Our outreach strategy included the following steps:
- Educate the public on existing, specific situations
- Identify alternative approaches to realize a positive change
- Evaluate those alternatives with the help of a large and diverse “public”
- Translate the outreach results into priority actions and policy considerations
The Wichita transit project was completed in three study phases, which included the following:
Phase 1: Engage the public and stakeholders to identify key transportation needs and desired transit characteristics.
Phase 2: Work with Wichita Transit to develop transit scenarios that address the needs identified in phase one.
Phase 3: Take the traffic scenario concepts back to the public to validate the concepts and gain support for the solutions.
Although it’s important to inform citizens about general transit practices, it is sometimes not enough to initiate behavior change or to develop program support. To encourage and foster behavioral changes, our outreach strategy focused on addressing relevant and specific issues that affected citizens on a daily basis. The strategy also worked on engaging the community to persuade and convince them that they could be a part of creating positive solutions. This is what made our program unique.
The three-phase process provided a great opportunity to educate the public on transit and the transit opportunities the community had available to them in the future.
Kansas City, Missouri
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