goDCgo, the District Department of Transportation’s Transportation Demand Management program operated by Foursquare ITP, has helped DC Circulator pivot their marketing and rider communication strategy to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. DC Circulator’s mission is to deliver affordable, comfortable, and efficient bus service that connects people to business, culture, and entertainment throughout the District. This purpose still rings true during the pandemic, but with an added layer of complexity. How do you keep riders and operators safe during a pandemic?

Since March 2020, transit agencies have been using different methods to keep riders and operators safe. One key theme running through rider safety campaigns across the country is that riders need access to information and resources. When we began to develop DC Circulator’s Your Ride, Our Priority campaign, we knew to build our campaign around that central idea.

New Safety Signage on Buses

To ensure everyone riding DC Circulator is adhering to Mayor Bowser’s order and guidance from the Federal Transit Association on social distancing and mask/facial covering protocols, we developed three new types of signage for all 72 Circulator buses to remind everyone to do their part.

It was important to keep the designs simple and straightforward. The artwork was created to remind riders of the protocols, rather than shaming people.

Swag and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Distribution Events

We can’t assume that everyone has access to masks, so it was essential to get the proper PPE into rider’s hands with this campaign. We used ridership data to pinpoint the best locations to distribute DC Circulator branded PPE which included masks, hand sanitizers, and a reusable bus strap to help riders avoid high touch surfaces while riding transit.

Rider Info Website Page

When people are considering riding DC Circulator, they can visit the website to plan their trip and find out the latest service information, so it is the perfect place to publish information on what DC Circulator is doing to ensure safety during the pandemic. The campaign page includes safety videos, a flyer for riders to download, and more.

It became very clear during the pandemic that transit remains essential. By demonstrating how transit operators prioritized rider safety during the pandemic, we are able to increase rider confidence in transit systems. We’re proud to contribute to the future of transit in Washington, DC with our Your Ride, Our Priority campaign!