Since 2010 the European Trolleybus Day (ETD) is being celebrated on an annual basis on the first Saturday of the European Mobility Week. It is a day fully dedicated to trolleybuses. With this initiative, the European TROLLEY project calls attention to trolleybus transport as an important part of sustainable urban mobility in European cities. ETD activities range from information campaigns and open days at trolleybus depots to children’s painting competitions or sweepstakes.
The European Trolleybus Day (ETD) is a public-oriented event organised every year on the first Saturday of the European Mobility Week. The event is generally accompanied by information activities, contests, games and education around various aspects of trolleybuses. Target groups are all passengers and potential future passengers.
The annual European Trolleybus Day is intended to raise the general public’s as well as trolleybus passengers’ awareness of trolleybuses and their advantages through a mix of activities. By experiencing the advantages of trolleybuses (e.g. no local emissions, low noise levels) and their effects, people are encouraged to consider using them more often or for the first time.
A European Trolleybus Day can be organised in every European trolleybus city or any city interested in trolleybuses, but could take a different form depending on the local trolleybus network (e.g. number of lines and buses), trolleybus experience or the specific trolleybus history in a city. It can be as simple as an organised trolleybus ride or as large as an outdoor event for thousands of people.
Possible partnerships (list not comprehensive)
Venue and scale of the event
You’re only limited by your imagination with regard to the activities that can be offered at an ETD. The main thing to keep in mind is to integrate fun with information and education. Some possibilities include:
Who and what should be there
Local trolleybus experts and representatives of the local administration or the public transport provider should be present and talk about the community’s trolleybus initiatives.
Inviting a local celebrity (e.g. a member of a local sports team, media personalities, a politician) to participate in the event is a good way to draw media attention and raise awareness of it.
The availability of food and drinks makes people stay longer. Some music makes them feel comfortable.
Make sure to have flyers, brochures and other information material available. Gadgets and promotional material, e.g. for children, add a fun factor.
Promoting the ETD
Each participant how will take care for the upcoming 4th European Trolleybus Day on 21th September 2013 will receive following materials:
Depending on the scale of your event and foreseen activities it can be quite a bit of work to organise it and it is fairly labour-intensive. In terms of covering other costs think also of sponsorship through partner organisations.
Evaluation of impact
Count the number of participants. This can be done at each individual activity and/or an overall count at the ETD. It can also be done with something small and appealing like a trolleybus stamp on participants’ hands or a wristband such as those used at festivals. If you have volunteers stamping hands or putting on wristbands (and counting), you can count the total number of attendees and can be relatively certain you have not counted people twice.
If you collect contact information from participants, you can conduct an online survey a few days or weeks after the event to find out if they liked the event and were encouraged to use a trolleybus more since the event.
Another promising evaluation approach is to evaluate press reports after the event.
Considerations and lessons learnt
Through an ETD you can reach a large number of people at one time. It is a great venue to inform and educate people at the same time as letting them have fun. Hands-on experience is the best form of promotion. If possible, you should plan to make your event annual rather than a one-time event so that you can improve it each year and watch interest and participation levels develop over time. But, assuming your venue is outdoors, your success may depend on the weather. Let this not discourage you.
Linking the event to the European Mobility Week lets your citizens and passengers know that they are participating in something larger than just a local festival.
Do not underestimate the value of food and drinks, music and competitions! These are the things that create a fun atmosphere and encourage people to come and to stay longer.
Good practice cases
On 18 September 2010, the first European Trolleybus Day was celebrated in Salzburg, Brno, Eberswalde, Gdynia, Parma, Leipzig and Szeged. The 2nd ETD took place on 17 September 2011. The third edition tooked place on 22 September 2012.
|Brno, Czech Republic
||Brno celebrated the first ETD in 2010 with an open day at the trolleybus depot and an info point inside a historical trolleybus on a main city square. A focus of the event was on families with kids who were informed about the operation of trolleybuses and could even take the seat of the driver. Miniature trolleybuses were the greatest attraction for children. Hydraulic ramps in the depot enabled all visitors to have a look at trolleybuses from below.|
||The ETD in Szeged was celebrated with open days at the trolleybus depot giving technical insights into the operation, maintenance and repair of trolleybuses. A painting competition (see winning photo placed on bus on the left) and sweepstakes were carried out. Information booths in the city centre of Szeged promoted the general idea of clean electric trolleybuses.|
||In Salzburg, several information points for citizens were created with operator staff giving hands-on information on the operation of trolleybuses. ETD activities included a competition with prizes, free balloons, music, food and drink stands. The European trolleybus marketing campaign “ebus – the smart way” also carried out in Salzburg was promoted at the event. Swing cards in trolleybuses promoted the event and the competition.|
The European Trolleybus Day is a highly targeted event marketing tool to promote trolleybuses as clean and sustainable urban transport mode established by the European project TROLLEY (www.trolley-project.eu). The events are a suitable communication tool to foster dialogue with the target group “passengers” and they make trolleybuses a real experience. Thereby, main messages like the environmental friendliness or low-noise related quality of life through trolleybus transportation can be intensified. Accompanied by creativity and entertainment factor, e.g. by sweepstakes or innovative gadgets, the European Trolleybus Day can become a big success for all participating cities.
TROLLEY invites other trolleybus cities to follow this campaign and to join the festivities across Europe. The TROLLEY project offers exhibition material, (e.g. photos from trolleybuses from different cities or information posters, or gadgets which can be used free of charge) as well as organisational advice for all trolleybus cities, which would like to carry out an ETD.
If you are interested in learning more about the ETD, contact Alexandra Scharzenberger from trolley:motion via firstname.lastname@example.org
or a TROLLEY project partner (www.trolley-project.eu) representing your country.
This post was prepared according the text which can be found in the trolley-project.eu website.