New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) selected CooperKatz to launch its electronic fare card, MetroCard Gold, which introduced free-transfers between buses and subways and ended ‘two fare zones’ for millions of New Yorkers.
To herald this huge benefit, CooperKatz conceived and executed two major press / educational events, both of which resulted in enormous media coverage. For the first, we used theatrical set design elements and MTA equipment to create a simulated token booth, subway station and bus stop – so that reporters could experience a free transfer before the real one was actually available to the public. For the second event, we recommended that then New York State Governor George Pataki symbolically purchase the first MetroCard Gold, which he did in front of dozens of metro news media. In addition to these media events, CooperKatz developed borough-specific press materials that mapped out a range of previously two-fare – and now one-fare – trips and encouraged local press to test the new fare system. Hundreds of articles ran in print and broadcast media throughout the region, but the most prominent placement was in the New York Daily News. That newspaper sent a reporter and photographer on the CooperKatz-mapped one-fare route from the southern tip of Staten Island to the northern-most extreme of the Bronx, and emblazoned its resulting story / photo on the front page under the headline “FARE GAME.” Within six months, MetroCard use jumped to over 60 percent. Our work with the MTA resulted in our winning a prestigious CIPRA award.