A Ready! Rider Shares Their Story
By Memphis Area Transit Authority
May 6, 2022
Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) launched their fare-free on-demand microtransit program, Ready! in July 2021. There are six vehicles in the fleet that are dedicated to door-to-door pick-ups and drop-offs. Riders can book their ride using the mobile app or by dialing into MATA’s call center. As of April 2022, Ready! has an average daily ridership of about 300 riders per day.
MATA decided to capture one of their rider’s stories in a video. Watch Alice tell her story about how she learned about Ready! and how she uses it for her day-to-day trips.
Logistics Of Filming A Rider
MATA’s marketing department shared their insights and the process of filming a rider testimonial video with SUMC.
How did you pick this rider for the interview?
We learned about Alice thanks to an email marketing campaign and a social media post. Alice saw this content and reached out to MATA regarding the service. She was in need of transportation and that very day received an email announcing the new service. Shortly after, Alice saw our Facebook post and asked questions about COVID-19 precautions.
Being one of the first riders to try out the service, Alice shared her experience and suggested ways we could elevate the program. MATA addressed her concerns and Alice has become quite the MATA Ready! on-demand ambassador. It made perfect sense to contact her for this video interview.
Hearing from other riders is a more effective way to market this service and our goal is to continue to utilize storytelling as a way to promote our services.
How long in advance of filming did you contact them?
Since we already had built a strong connection with Alice, initial contact was already made, and she was on board to share her story.
Were there special COVID-19 precautions taken while filming?
Filming during COVID-19 was unique but not difficult. We were careful to maintain our distance and the team wore masks and followed necessary precautions. Thankfully, Alice was excited about filming and was the ideal interviewee who was both energetic and engaging!
Where did you film?
We wanted Alice to be as comfortable as possible, so we filmed from outside her house and maintained social distance. We also felt it was important for the audience to visualize Alice booking a trip from her home to her destination.
Did you select a vendor to film and edit this video?
Princeton James Productions was used for the filming and editing of the interview. Because we used a production team, staff hours were reasonable. The time involved included contacting Alice, coordinating with the video team, the actual interview, and reviewing the final product. We would estimate it to be all in a good day’s work! Likely around 8-12 hours total spread out through a couple weeks for filming, editing and reviewing.
How did you compensate the interviewee for their time?
We wanted an honest testimonial free from any sense of obligation. Our interviewee was not paid for her time or sharing her story.
Which platforms has MATA used or plans to use to share this video?
How has the public reacted to the video?
We have seen engagement with the video in terms of views. The true benefit is that this personal story of one rider’s experience builds confidence in a service that is relatively new to our area. We have since reached out to Alice for another interview and are so grateful for her willingness to share.
Would you recommend other agency’s record and share stories like this more often?
Absolutely! Customer testimonials are an excellent way to communicate and market your services. We know that audiences trust peer recommendations more than traditional advertising, so hearing from a fellow rider has the potential for a greater impact.
Would you like to share any additional lessons that you learned during filming?
Utilizing a skilled production team can save valuable staff time. Reasonably priced and skilled production teams are a valuable extension of your marketing team. And they’re out there! If it isn’t in the budget, there’s a lot you can do from your smartphone and don’t be afraid to try it out!
The next steps for the the Integrated Mobility Innovation grant is going from project to program. For the Accelerating Innovative Mobility grant, we are working with our project partners to recognize MATA as the regional transportation provider.
From a technical side, we are also working on featuring all modes of transportation under one app. MATA launched a mobile ticketing app in 2020 and we are integrating all modes in the system app for a convenient customer experience.
To keep up with the Ready! program, please visit @RideMATA on social media and the website here.