The I-25 HOV/Express Lanes Project • Opened June 2006 • Approximately 7 miles, reversible and barrier separated. • I-25 from US 36 to downtown Denver • Vehicles with only one occupant can use the I-25 HOV/Express Lanes if they pay a toll • Buses, carpoolers and motorcycles continue to use the lanes for free • Purpose is to maximize the highway by allowing solo drivers access to the lanes
Launch Communications Strategy • Research via focus groups, statistically valid surveys, public meetings, interviews with stakeholders, and traffic and revenue forecasts • Awareness Building via media relations; paid media (radio spots, print ads and mobile billboards) • Targeted Communications to current transponder owners and early adopters; outreach presentations to local governments, other transportation and public policy entities, and interested community groups; print collateral; an informational video; online communications via the CDOT Web site and reciprocal links; and a VIP grand opening event • Education via the same tactics outlined in the Awareness Building section to explain key reasons to use the new Express Lane (daycare, deadline deliveries, late for an appointment or work, etc.), how to acquire a transponder and access the Express Lane, and how HOV lane usage will change • Advance Solicitation via pre-launch communications with current transponder owners to generate immediate users among people who understand and are comfortable with tolling in general
Brand Strategy • Everyone has been stuck in traffic at one time or another, and everyone has verbalized frustration about it. To capitalize on that shared experience, the brand concept theme “Express Yourself” was developed for the launch of the new tolled Express Lanes. • Developed after conducting focus groups Grace Period Card Poster
Educational Tools and Advertising • Posters and Brochures- distributed to cities, counties, businesses, carpool organizations, and to transponder account holders and new accounts, etc. • Mobile Billboards- used on mainline I-25 during peak hours 2 weeks after opening (see next slide) • Video/DVD- 7-min. video explaining how the facility operates • Grace Period Card- handed out to motorists by law enforcement in violation of either the HOV or toll lane for three months after opening • Paid Advertising –radio traffic sponsorships • Giveaway Item – Congestion Relief Pills – The Cure for Congestion • Technical Brochure – For other states and stakeholders considering implementation of a HOT lanes project
Mobile Billboard and Promotional Item Congestion pills handed out at media event
Press Kit • The complicated nature of this project required a series of informational one-pagers and news releases: • Current I-25 Traffic Counts • Do Other HOT Facilities Exist? • Colorado Tolling Enterprise History • HOT Statute and Study • Who Can Use the Express Lanes? • Video Educates Motorists about the I-25 Express Lanes • Motorists are Urged to Follow the Signs on the new I-25 Express Lanes • Toll Rates Established for the I-25 Express Lanes • ExpressToll Transponders a Necessity for Solo Drivers Using the I-25 Express Lanes • I-25 Express Lanes Help Ease Congestion, Offer More Choice by Allowing Solo Drivers Access for a Toll • These can be found at: • http://www.dot.state.co.us/cte/expresslanes/news.cfm
Media Event • Event was held at the on-ramp to the facility at Coors Field. The focus was that you could Express Yourself for less than the price of a Rockie Dog! Over 1,000 attendees from across the nation! • Speakers included Colorado Governor Bill Owens, J. Richard Capka for the Federal Highway Administration and Colorado Rockies Owner Dick Monfort • Received local and national media coverage for weeks • Included tours of the Express Lanes facility.
Success! Far exceeding both usage and revenue projections. Projected: 500 toll payers in peak hour Actual: More than 1,400 toll payers in peak hour Month Toll HOV June 2006 21,551 204,189 April 2007 83,162 207,035