How do you advance a major transportation project from conception through construction?

Traffic congestion in downtown Chicago has plagued the city for decades. Whether in a car or bus in stop-and-go-traffic, or navigating crowds of people on the sidewalk, gridlock is the only guarantee when it comes to traveling east-west through the Loop.

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) identified Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as the best way to reduce congestion while moving people more efficiently to their destinations downtown. Grisko lent its transportation PR expertise to lead stakeholder outreach during the planning and design process for the City’s first BRT. We branded the new BRT as Loop Link and created an education campaign that would prepare Chicagoans to use the new system from day one.

2

Second largest Central Business District in the U.S.

250 thousand

Daily trips through the Loop.

1,000s

Businesses along the corridor.

Engaging stakeholders. Cultivating supporters.

Given its location in the heart of the city, Loop Link would have a dramatic impact on the way thousands of people move through downtown every day. A comprehensive stakeholder engagement campaign was critical to fine-tune the project design to meet the needs of the businesses, residents and cultural institutions in the area while educating and growing support to advance the project.

Grisko planned and executed public and stakeholder meetings to gain feedback on initial BRT concepts. We coordinated meetings between CDOT and hundreds of stakeholders, representing every block in the project area, to discuss and resolve issues with the proposed configuration.

Grisko established a distinct brand identity for Loop Link, including a logo and graphic standards reflecting the brand’s premium, high-quality bus experience. An informative advertising campaign, leveraging outdoor, transit in-system ads and signage, communicated Loop Link’s benefits in a simple, effective way.

One step closer to a faster Loop.

Exhaustive stakeholder outreach coupled with compelling educational advertising created broad support for the Loop Link. Stakeholders voiced that support through news interviews, community forums, social media and a video produced by CDOT. With support secured, the City of Chicago was able to seamlessly advance the project through each stage, with an expected launch by the end of 2015.

The Harvard Review praised Chicago for its attention to public outreach, as other cities face challenges implementing BRT, noting in a May 15, 2015 article that “…coalition building paid off; dissenters were eventually drowned out by the overwhelming support.”