ART ad blitz costs city hundreds of thousands, but is it working?

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Since the launch of ART, the city has been talking about educating drivers on how to drive in the ART corridor. Now, a new public ad campaign is an effort to do just that.

Stay in your lane. That’s the primary message of the ABQ RIDE ad campaign, but are people listening?

“I myself have accidentally gone into the bus lane,” said Katherine Stroll, an Albuquerque resident. “I went into a lane I wasn’t supposed to, and I was just trying to turn left,” she said.

It’s a commonly made driving mistake, and it’s one of many being made along Central since the ART buses started organizing operating in November.

The new ad campaign created by the city aims to remind people that the buses are on the road, and that there are a few new rules to follow.

The ad blitz cost more than $200,000, most of which was paid for by a public education grant. The rest was paid for out of the city’s general fund.

“We knew that with any new traffic pattern, or project of this size, and advisement of the FTA also, that a huge public information campaign was going to have to take place,” said Alicia Manzano, a city spokesperson.

The commercial has been running for a few weeks, and the city says it’s confident that it’s getting the message across.

“We can imagine that things would have been even worse had we not conducted the public education campaign like we are,” said Manzano.

While some people have seen the ad online or on TV, a lot of the people KRQE News 13 spoke with aren’t sure it’s making a difference.

“I’m an example of someone who hasn’t seen the PSA but uses the roads frequently, and I’m just wondering if there’s another way for them to let us know,” said Stoll.

The commercial is only one of the advertisements the city has created. The city has also released digital ads, billboards, and flyers in hopes drivers will see them around the city.

The city says the majority of the views have come from digital ads. There have been twelve ART crashes since November 30.

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