Investing in your companies future

traingeekboy Sep 27, 2005

  1. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    DISCLAIMER:
    A while back I posted a link to some SNCF, french national railways, commercials. All I got was a negative response. I replied in kind then had the admins delete the thread. I don't plan to argue about nationalism and the french and whether they are good or bad people. If you really feel a need to vent your racism, feel free to private message me.

    http://tgvlefilm.sncf.com/

    Ok, first watch the clip. Then lets discuss trains and such.


    Question:
    Do you think cool TV commercials would increase ridership and help promote the idea of public transport in America?

    My point:
    If you invest money up front you will reap big rewards down the road. In the case of most services, you have to spend lots of money to advertise your service. It's how you lead the horses to water and get them to drink.

    More money should be given to Amtrak to allow them to promote their wares more effectively. It would increase their ridership.

    Question:
    My next question is whether or not Amtrak commercials should be free to air since Amtrak is a government owned affair, for good or ill, and the airwaves are actually only leased by the TV stations since the federal government owns everything anyway.

    Who here is feeling the sting of gas prices? Is anyone thinking of downsizing their hummer to a VW bug? ;)
     
  2. MP333

    MP333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Geeky,

    Not to argue with you, I see where you are going.

    The American "airwaves" are owned 100% by the American people, not the government. Radio, TV, and other broadcasters merely licence the right to broadcast under FCC rules. The government could not insist Amtrak ads run for free. Public Service Annoucement? That's maybe another story.

    I agree that Amtrak could be promoted better, but I suspect advertising is not in their budget. This thread could start getting political, and so I will stop here.
     
  3. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    What campp said, plus more.

    Advertisements for public transportation generally fall under the auspices of regional transportation authorities, which can be private, quasi-public or public. Out here in Albuquerque, I really don't have an example to quote. But when I returned to the Boston area last year, I thought the promotion of rail transit into the city was really well done, and very comprehensive. We took the MBTA almost everywhere.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    There is an adage. I do not recall it's exact wording. It goes something to the effect of: "There's no time better than the present."

    I want to believe that right now, would be an excellent time for Amtrak to make a major North American advertising push.

    Boxcab E50
     
  5. doofus

    doofus TrainBoard Supporter

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    That is all fine and dandy for the Northeast Corridor, but anywhere west of there requires the cooperation of the carrier on which Amtrak will travel. All the advertising in the world won't help if the other carriers won't, or flat out can't accomodate Amtrak.

    If Amtrak were to provide depedable consistent service, they would have the ridership. But you have two or more entities with different goals sharing the same space. It is hard to run one or two scheduled trains amidst a sea of "extras".
     
  6. Wil Mosher

    Wil Mosher New Member

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    Sadly, unless Congress changes its emphasis on massive tax cuts AND a decline in government-sponsered public transportation, it is a moot point. AMTRAK will cease to service anything but the Main Line from Boston to Washington and New York to Chicago. The rest of the system fails to pay it's own way.

    :(
     
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Unfortunately, this points out one of the major failures of Amtrak. Which should have been addressed and enforced, at and from startup.

    There are other weaknesses. Such as being run by politicians. Not business skilled people. I read/hear of them trying to mandate profitability. Makes them look like complete fools. If that were possible, all businesses would use such a practice.

    To late now. They must run with what they have. And work toward making it go.

    My hope in broaching the idea, was attracting more attention from the public. Getting more people aware. Possibly involved in raising voices. It's the only hope.

    Boxcab E50
     
  8. doofus

    doofus TrainBoard Supporter

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    I suppose that if more people were exposed to the train itself, they would keep it in mind the next time they make travel plans. It is too bad there are so few destinatons from which to choose. But as was said...
     
  9. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

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    I guess we here just have a different agenda. In europe I have no doubt the trains run at a loss, but the common need and good it provides is justifiable compensation.

    I rode the Amtrak from Denver to SF and back again. Two days of riding. I really enjoyed the ride. I once rode in a grey hound from Kansas city to Denver. perhaps 12 hours. I swore I would never ride a bus again.

    I just saw that airlines are cutting back flights do to fuel costs. Trains are so cheap on fuel by comparison.
     
  10. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    [ October 01, 2005, 06:52 AM: Message edited by: sapacif ]
     

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