The Chicago Department of Transportation undertook a major transportation project in Chicago’s Loop. Through comprehensive stakeholder engagement and a public education campaign we successfully advanced the project from conception through construction, generating enthusiasm and avoiding pitfalls along the way.
Traffic congestion in downtown Chicago has plagued the city for decades. Whether in a car or bus in stop-and-go-traffic, bring a healthy supply of patience when 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. Given its location in the heart of the city, this project would have a dramatic impact on the way thousands of people move through the Loop every day. Grisko lent its transportation PR and communications expertise to support stakeholder and public outreach during the planning, design and construction process for the City’s first BRT.
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 business stakeholders representing every block in the project area, to discuss and resolve issues with the proposed configuration.
Grisko established a distinct brand identity for the new BRT called Loop Link, including a logo and graphic standards reflecting the brand’s premium, high-quality bus experience. We developed a multichannel education campaign to prepare Chicagoans to use the new system from day one—communicating Loop Link’s benefits in a simple and effective way.
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 a successful launch in late 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.”
Echoes & Reflections
American Heart Association
Police Accountability Task Force
Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
The Field Museum