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Cherriots Wins an Award

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Marketing and communication done on a shoestring

Cherriots received an award for Best Marketing and Communications to Support Ridership or Sales: Shoestring Tactic from the American Public Transportation Association. This award recognizes a marketing and communication campaign done on a "shoestring." For Cherriots, it was the effective implementation of the Youth Zero Pass program with a very limited budget and tight time constraints. 

Marketing and communication done on a shoestring: 89 percent increase in ridership for less than $4,000! 

In Fall of 2022, Cherriots Board President, Ian Davidson, approached the mayors of Salem and Keizer, and Salem-Keizer Public Schools, to secure funding for a zero fare youth program. President Davidson secured the money within one week, and the beginning of school was only three weeks away. 

Cherriots staff quickly got to work. Given the budget and time constraints, Cherriots produced all of the marketing material in-house. The advantage of partnering with local government and the public school system, was the availability of dozens of no or low-cost communication channels, including electronic newsletters, electronic flyers to students and families, and multiple social media platforms. 

The Youth Zero Pass program launch was Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. During the first two weeks, more than 8,000 additional rides were recorded. Youth ridership increased by more than 30,000 rides or 89 percent from October 2021 to October 2022. The buses are full! 

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