The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency (Agency), which oversees the Amtrak® Pacific Surfliner® service, was honored with two AdWheel Grand Awards by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The AdWheel Awards recognize the “best of the best” in marketing and communications within the public transportation industry. Grand Award winners are selected from the First-Place winners within a category.
A ceremony was held at APTA’s TRANSform Conference in early November, honoring AdWheel winners for 2020 and 2021. The LOSSAN Agency was announced as the winner of two Grand Awards in the following strategic categories:
- Best Marketing and Communications on COVID-19 – Pacific Surfliner COVID-19 Social Media Communications (2021)
- Best Marketing and Communications Educational Initiative – Pacific Surfliner and Disneyland Resort Partnership to Promote Alternate Transportation Options (2020)
The LOSSAN Agency’s COVID-19 social media communications campaigns played a critical role in reaching tens of thousands of people at the height of the pandemic to share timely and accurate information about rail travel, including schedule updates, health and safety information, passenger tips, and more. Social media was also leveraged to maintain relationships with customers at a time when they weren’t actively riding the trains, and build a foundation to recover ridership in the future.
“At a time when travel demand was at an unprecedented low, our staff was quick to maximize social media communications as a strategic tool to spread awareness on the safety and service adjustments made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Donna DeMartino, Managing Director of the LOSSAN Agency. “It is an honor to be recognized by our peers within the transportation industry for our efforts to keep the community informed and engaged during the prolonged pandemic.”
The LOSSAN Agency was presented with a second Grand Award in the 2020 educational initiative category, which recognized marketing efforts from 2019 that successfully increased awareness of the train as a travel option to the Disneyland® Resort. The campaign promoted an ongoing partnership with the Disneyland® Resort that includes savings on Theme Park admission for Pacific Surfliner customers and a discount on train travel to Anaheim.
The entries were evaluated by industry peers and awarded in groups based on system size. More than 360 entries were submitted for the 2021 awards, the highest number of submissions in several years.