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South West Transit Association Announces Recipients of 2021 Spotlight Marketing Awards


SWTA Spotlight Awards logo

Fort Worth, Texas – The South West Transit Association (SWTA) is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual Spotlight Awards, which recognize excellence in marketing and outreach efforts produced by transit providers across SWTA’s eight-state region.

The awards – reviewed and judged by marketing and communication professionals at transit agencies and private marketing firms – are among the oldest awards recognizing marketing campaigns and projects in the public transportation industry, first awarded in 1990. Winners are selected from submissions in categories of different-sized transit systems and for multi-platform marketing campaigns along with specific print, electronic, social and event media projects.

Representatives from the marketing and communications departments of the agencies listed below shares details of their award-winning campaigns and projects on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 1:15 p.m. (Mountain) as part of SWTA’s 2021 Summer University Conference.

SWTA’s 2021 Spotlight Award winners are:

  • Spotlight Campaign – Category 1 Systems: Capital Area Rural Transit (CARTS) – Austin, TX— The goal of the campaign was to introduce CARTS NOW to our family of services with the launch of a new microtransit program in Bastrop.
  • Hit the Spot (Social Media) – Category 1 Systems: envida – Colorado Springs, CO –The goal of this campaign was to build awareness of our new service offering free rides to and from COVID vaccine appointments.
  • Hit the Spot (Electronic) – Category 1 Systems: East Texas Council of Governments – Kilgore, TX – The goal of this campaign was to showcase the changes GoBus underwent from 2018-2020 to improve service and navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Spotlight Campaign – Category 2 Systems: City of Norman – Norman, OK – The goal of the campaign was to build support for a one-eight percent sales tax to support transit in Norman.
  • Hit the Spot (Electronic) – Category 2 Systems: Rio Metro – Albuquerque, N.M. – The COVID-19 health pandemic stalled public transportation for several weeks in 2020. Wearing a face mask on public transportation was mandated by the federal government, and so it became important to get this message out to the communities across the state of New Mexico.
  • Spotlight Campaign – Category 3 Systems: Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority – Corpus Christi, TX – The goal of the “B” Safe campaign was to prevent and reduce the spread of germs and COVID-19 throughout the community through a collection of proactive and responsive measures.
  • Hit the Spot – Category 3 Systems (Social Media, Event): Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority – Corpus Christi, TX – The goal of the social media spot was to highlight how CCRTA works with local Police Departments to proactively ensure the safety of all riders, employees, and community members. Meanwhile, the goal of the event spot was to recognize and thank staff for their hard work, dedication, and responsiveness throughout a year that was riddled with incomparable circumstances.
  • Hit the Spot – Category 3 Systems (Print, Electronic): Denton County Transportation Authority – Denton, TX – The goal of the print spot was to provide a fun and educational coloring book to the community that not only was interesting to kids but also had information on DCTA services for adults. Meanwhile, the goal of the electronic spot was to drive in-person and online engagement to the project microsite to collect passenger, stakeholder and resident feedback and ideas on the agency’s proposed GoZone on-demand rideshare service.
  • Spotlight Campaign – Category 5 Systems: Dallas Area Rapid Transit – Dallas, TX – The goals of the Ask DART COVID-19 campaign were to understand/solve our riders’ problems; build trust through transparency; humanize the DART brand; and ultimately persuade riders to start traveling on DART again.
  • Hit the Spot (Social Media, Events) - Category 4 Systems: Dallas Area Rapid Transit – Dallas, TX – The goals of the DARTzoom social media campaign were to generate awareness of the January 2022 major service change, challenge misinformation about service cuts; and encourage community involvement in the process. Meanwhile, the event campaign sought to generate excitement and awareness about the opening of Hidden Ridge Station at Carpenter Ranch in Irving, Texas.

“SWTA’s Spotlight Awards are an annual opportunity for marketing and communications professionals in the transit industry to recognized for their hard work and creativity,” says SWTA Executive Director Rich Sampson. “The COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented impacts on transit providers, and their communications and marketing professionals found creative and relevant new ways to ensure customers and the public knew the exceptional and essential work of transit’s frontline staff, supervisors, administrative staff and leadership during this crisis.”

The South West Transit Association (SWTA) is a regional transit association serving eight states – Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Its mission is to provide a community of education, communication, and advocacy to strengthen our members and their ability to better provide public transportation services and products in the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.swta.org.

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