East Central RTCC: Improving access through information

Five east central counties on Minnesota map

Before Minnesotans can access transportation, they need access to information about transportation options.

To make that task easier, the East Central Regional Transportation Coordinating Council, which covers the counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec and Mille Lacs, is taking a number of steps.

The ECRTCC worked with a local marketing professional to develop a visual identity that helps community members quickly recognize the council. “The look is informative, direct, unique, fun, simple and catchy,” says Karen Onan of the ECRTCC. “Whoever we correspond with, whether emails, letters or reports, wherever we are seen as ECRTCC in public, whether county fairs, expos or conferences, we use our marketing tools.”

The ECRTCC also launched a new web portal — EastCentralTransit.com — that ECRTCC staff can easily update. “It’s a simple name, which makes finding information about our region’s traveling opportunities intuitive,” Onan says.

ECRTCC transit service promo ads

Other efforts to reach out to the region’s population include broadcasting on a popular regional radio station, promoting volunteer driver programs and sharing the web portal for ease in finding transportation information.

In addition, the radio station offers the ECRTCC 15-minute interviews every other Friday at 8:45 a.m. with a local radio celebrity. “During the interviews, we share relevant information about the ECRTCC and the statewide RTCCs,” she says, “and to add more interest, we include guests who provide insight from their perspective on transportation.”

Featured interviews include the region’s three public transit managers or directors (Arrowhead Transit, Timber Trails Transit and Tri-CAP Transit), the community liaison for Jefferson Lines, the transit manager for Groome Airport Transportation, the region’s RTCC chair (also executive director of DT&H provider PHASE-Industries), the region’s veterans service providers, Northern Lights Express (NLX) Technical Advisory Committee chair Ken Buehler, MCOTA executive director Tom Gottfried, and others.

“We are so excited about the future of transportation in Minnesota,” Onan says. “Our goal in marketing is to infect others with our enthusiasm!”