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Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor Amtrak Cascades Passenger Service Ron Pate Rail Director Lynn Peterson Secretary SCORT – Maximizing revenues.

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Presentation on theme: "Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor Amtrak Cascades Passenger Service Ron Pate Rail Director Lynn Peterson Secretary SCORT – Maximizing revenues."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor Amtrak Cascades Passenger Service Ron Pate Rail Director Lynn Peterson Secretary SCORT – Maximizing revenues on state corridors September 24, 2013 Katy Taylor Assistant Secretary of Administration

2 Pacific Northwest High-Speed Rail Corridor Passenger Rail – Amtrak Cascades 467-mile corridor 300 miles in WA 134 miles in OR 33 miles in B.C. BNSF and UP own the tracks Amtrak operates the service WSDOT pays Amtrak via contract Talgo and Amtrak maintain equipment Washington pays Talgo via contract Five trainsets :  Washington owns three  Amtrak owns two  Oregon will add two in

3 Maximizing Revenue Starts with Knowing Your Target Audiences Do research – qualitative and quantitative. Gather strong data on who your target audiences are and use that information to maximize media spending and promotions. Then use your existing resources strategically: Speak to the people who already like you.  Work with Amtrak to develop an Amtrak Guest Rewards program tailored to your route. Our recent AGR promotion reached 170,000 members at NO COST to us.  We increased the reach by posting to AmtrakCascades.com and our social media channels. AAA promotion including online advertising at their expense and coverage in the Journey Magazine.  AAA membership makes them a captive audience (we like that!).  Weekly s to 230,000 members  Featured in Journeys magazine.  Book online at AAA website. 3

4 Maximizing Revenue Starts with Knowing Your Target Audiences and Finding Matches Sounders FC is our local, very-popular, professional soccer team. Sounders FC and Amtrak Cascades have a very strong demographic match. Our partnership yields:  Online ads on the Sounders FC site for 13 weeks. o Sounders FC home page ad in weeks 12 and 13.  Six Matchday Magazine insertions.  inclusions and an exclusive to all registered Sounders FC fans.  Social media Tweets from spokes- person Sounders FC midfielder Brad Evans while he is on the train. 4 Bistro display advertising builds on existing partnership: “What are you a fan of? Amtrak Cascades takes you there.”

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6 Maximizing Revenue Use revenue-protected sales:  Sales can incentivize potential customers to try your service.  Using paid media to advertise sales keeps your service name in front of past, current and potential customers.  People searching for your sale price will often buy tickets at other times at a cost greater than the sale price.  Amtrak Pricing and Revenue Management can help you determine which types of sales may be right for you. Keep an electronic mailing list:  Our Amtrak Cascades list has over 20,000 addresses.  We use this list for quarterly eNewsletters and other specials. 6

7 Cost Savings = Reduced Need for Revenue Use in-house photographers:  Often photos are just as high-quality.  Easier to schedule.  No royalty fees.  No staff time spent tracking royalty rights.  Removes risk of any royalty infringement. Use in-house recording for radio. Use in-house graphics. Radio promotions = free advertising. Take advantage of Amtrak promotions for distressed inventory – both offers are random so buyers cannot detect a pattern:  Rail Sale – offers last-minute unsold inventory.  Cheap Escapes – offers inventory unlikely to sell, at a reduced price. 7 Photo credit: Bruce Ikenberry, WSDOT, Amtrak Cascades in the Puyallup Valley with Mt. Rainier in the distance

8 Maximize Revenue via Online Bookings percent of all travel bookings are now completed online:  Make your site user-friendly.  Code your site using responsive design: o Seamless functionality between smartphones, iPhones, tablets and PCs.  Improve your search results (search engines change their algorithms constantly to avoid scammers - we have to change our metadata, page structure and page information to stay ahead of the curve).  Ecommerce support is available from Amtrak so you can add the fare finder and other widgets to your website. 8

9 More Revenue-inducing programs 2:1 cards incentivize new customers to try Amtrak Cascades. Social Media – in addition to using social media to boost the marketing programs discussed previously, new social media programs are being developed to further maximize revenue. Legislatively designated pilot program to partner with businesses (like Victoria Clipper and others) to explore new marketing ventures. The proviso supports the use of a graduate student intern to explore and evaluate new marketing programs. Schools on Trains – great program to get kids on trains. Benefit is two-fold: 1.Generates ridership and revenue midweek. 2.Kids get to experience the train and have a great experience with their peers, which creates young ambassadors for our service. 9

10 Questions? Ron Pate Director Rail Division (360) Web links: Rail Division - Amtrak Cascades - AASHTO Standing Committee on Rail Transportation


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