Mode-shifting transportation among new residents

Situation: The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization was working on a pilot program, SmartTrips, to educate on and promote neighborhood-specific walking, bicycling and transit. The pilot project focused on residents near DART bus route #60. Goals included promotion of walking, biking and transit to new residents, increase of awareness and raise acceptability of all travel modes and reduction in drive-alone trips.

Strategy and tactics: SmartTrips would focus on new movers, specifically on the DART’s Route 60. New movers would receive a postcard prompting them to sign up to receive an incentive packet full of free goodies to get them started with their new modes of transportation and a monthly newsletter throughout the summer. The project included branding, direction on new mover data, website development, survey development, content development, postcard design, packet design and newsletter design, as well as strategic counsel on the project.

Results: 378 households were reached with the postcards and 27 people opted in, a conversion rate of 7%. Of those who took the survey, 91 percent felt that SmartTrips helped them discover new transportation options, 81% said they took more trips by walking, biking or transit, and 100% said the SmartTrips program should be continued in the future. People were excited about the program and the welcome packet, with word getting out to other neighborhoods. SmartTrips also connected new residents to fantastic resources they were not previously aware of.

“Seriously, great program. Thank you for opening my eyes to other options for travel.”