York Region Transit/Viva – Exposed: Cracking down on fare evaders

In an effort to decrease the amount of people skipping fare on York Region Transit, our team conceptualized and produced Exposed – a multimedia fare evasion campaign targeted towards YRT/Viva’s youth market.

The insight behind the campaign is that getting caught without fare is like getting caught with your pants down; this plays on the classic nightmare of suddenly finding yourself unclothed in public. Media was placed to reach a young demographic and included animated cinema advertising, campus and mall posters, cost-per-click digital advertising on social media, and transit media. Transit and Facebook media encouraged the audience to participate in the “Rider Reward” SMS contest, which invited self-identified honest riders to text the keyword “Exposed” to the short code (e.g. 101010) to qualify for a weekly prize draw.

The SMS contest ran for 12 weeks, and received more than 5,000 entries. Moreover, as a result of this fare evasion campaign, the amount of people skipping fare decreased to 1.45%, far below the 2.15% benchmark that was set as a campaign objective. Exposed was also named the winner of the Canadian Urban Transit Association’s Corporate Innovation Award (2011).

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