How the Marketing Can Participate in a Durable Improvement of Traffic and Incomes in Urban Public Transportation: An Example of the RATP (Paris, France)

How the Marketing Can Participate in a Durable Improvement of Traffic and Incomes in Urban Public Transportation: An Example of the RATP (Paris, France)


P Vautier, RATP, FR


This paper looks at the role of marketing in increasing public transport use and revenue



The urban public transport is an activity where the competition is bigger than what we imagine. Competition between the very companies, but especially competition with the particular vehicles. Competition also with the world of the services because the customers are henceforth very sought by this universe which becomes a reference .

In Ile de France region , only 21 % of the users of the TPU ( urban public transports) are 'captives' and about 70 % of the customers are also users of the motorcar. Our stake thus is to influence durably their modal choice.

The Marketing takes more and more place in our activity as the demand, the behavior of the users are taken into account. But there are many those who doubt its impact, so much the faiths in 'm├ęchanistic behaviors' are still big.

In Ile de France region, under the aegis of the our Public Transport Authority ( STIF) the Public transport providers and more particularly the RATP implemented(operated) marketing programs which favor at the same moment the increase of the traffic, the market share, but also the receipts.

Two of these programs (?Imagine' r? for the schooled young people and ?Integrale?rather intended for commuters) have convincing results which we wish to make share.

Both constituent principles are the development of customer loyalty and the increase of the value of the subscription to public transports.

The choice of the development of customer loyalty rests on the fact that more than three quarters of the population are customers and that the part of the regular users is important. But we also know that every year, approximately two thirds of the customers revisit their modal choice and arbitrate regularly between collective transport and particular vehicle. It is there that the development of customer loyalty are important for stabilizing this part of clientele and giving more visibility to the sales incomes.

The increase of the value consists in 'loading? with additional profits the annual subscription which supports the loyalty program so that, in front of these profits, the customer agrees to spend a little more. These profits can be a ? lost an theft? insurance, advantages with commercial partners, ? For every program, they are specific and selected according to the profile and the customers expectations .

Since 1999, the members in these programs increased from 500 000 to 1 300 000.
The average income by customer increased enough to loosen a 'net profit' shared between the companies and the PTA, including by integrating the marketing costs.

For the program ?Imagine'r? which concerns henceforth more than 720 000 young people, we noticed an increase on both patronage and market share of public transports (10%).

The complete presentation will detail mechanisms used in both programs and will present the detailed calculated results, as well as the method used to calculate the return on investment. The statement will also show how such a policy allowed to weaken in the RATP the decline of traffic connected to the terrorist attacks of September, 2001.

Some doubt about the efficiency of marketing technics to influence the public transport .Since 1998, what happened in the Ile de France region demonstrates that marketing programs based on customer loyalty can durably improve traffic and incomes.

The presentation will give practical information with calculated results.


Association for European Transport