Laketran receives APEX awards for marketing and communications strategies

Lake County, OH – Laketran, Lake County’s regional public transportation authority, was recently recognized at the 2017 Lake Communicators APEX Awards ceremony receiving three gold, two silver, and one bronze. The APEX Awards, which honors local businesses for excellence in communications and marketing efforts, are hosted annually by Lake Communicators, a local group of marketing and communications professionals.

Laketran received gold in the Large Format: Wayfinding & Signage category for their Bus Stop redesign and Interior Rack Cards. Laketran recently launched a new Rider Tools program that includes a texting program for riders to get real-time information about when the bus will depart from their bus stop through text messaging. New bus stop signs were designed for in county Local Routes and Park‐n‐Ride bus stops in Cleveland to demonstrate how to use the text code from any of Laketran’s 715 bus stop locations. On‐board interior bus signs were also posted to explain how to use Next Bus Departure texting program.

Another gold was awarded to Laketran in the Collateral Literature category for their Real-Time Rider Tools door-hanger rack card. After installing GPS-enabled, automatic vehicle locators on the bus fleet, in June 2016 Laketran launched a Rider Tools program that offers trip planning with Google Transit and a real-time interactive map to track your bus or locate your bus stop online at Laketran placed door hangers on the grip bars in all Laketran’s Local Routes and Park-n-Ride buses to improve passenger awareness on how to use the new technology to make riding Laketran even easier.

Laketran’s third gold award was given in the Community Relations category for the expanded partnership between Laketran and Lake County Board of DD/Deepwood. In 2016, Laketran entered into a contract with Deepwood Industries for the cleaning of Laketran’s facility and bus fleet. For decades, Laketran and LCBDD have worked together in transporting individual with disabilities all over Lake County. This partnership provides another opportunity for both agencies to fulfill their mission in assisting people with disabilities by providing opportunities to improve quality of life.

For Outdoor Advertising, Laketran’s Park-n-Ride Next Exit Billboard received a silver award. Laketran used the new electronic billboard, located about a half mile east of the Lloyd Road exit on SR 2 in Wickliffe, to encourage drivers commuting into Cleveland to try Laketran’s Wickliffe Park-n-Ride. Laketran placed the Park-n-Ride Next Exit billboard on August 22, 2016 and continues to run it periodically. The September ridership for Route 12, the route that operates out of the Wickliffe Park-n-Ride, grew 45% within one month of the billboard placement and ended 2016 with a 36% ridership increase over 2015.

Laketran’s other silver award was in the Digital Media: Website category, for the new website launched in June of 2016. Over 50% of traffic on comes from mobile devices. Laketran’s new responsive site allows schedules, real-time rider tools, paratransit information, fare purchasing and rider alerts to be prominently displayed on a desktop or mobile device.

Laketran’s bronze award was in the Social Media category for their #LaketrantheLand – Cavs Championship Parade campaign. With less than 72 hours between the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship and a Championship Parade that drew over 1.3 million people to downtown Cleveland, Laketran put together an impressive social media campaign announcing special Laketran Park-n-Ride service to downtown Cleveland. With over 11,000 website visits, 1,000 calls to Customer Service and social media engagement upwards of 10,000 in one day, Laketran successfully operated 13,000 passenger trips on Wednesday June 22, 2016.

Laketran’s Director of Communications and Marketing Julia Schick, accepted the awards on behalf of the agency and credits partnerships with design firm Blackbird Interactive and local printers and media that help get Laketran’s message out.

“We are honored that our work was so well received by the APEX committee and judges this year,” Schick explained. “The APEX awards are a great opportunity to showcase the marketing and communications talent in Northeast Ohio, and we are proud to be a part of such a strong group of professionals in our field.”

Proudly serving over 750,000 riders each year, Laketran is Lake County, Ohio’s regional public transit system offering six local routes, door-to-door Dial-a-Ride, and commuter Park-n-Ride service to Cleveland.