Equal parts corporate video and transit brand ad, this piece for SNCF pulls out all the stops in this brilliantly animated video. It's a trip. Produced by animator ChezEddy and directed by Maxime Bruneel for Elephant at Work.

This admittedly nicely produced ad for Network Rail attempts to be all things to all people. 

I hear the client's voice rather clearly.
"I say, we have some rather inconvenient news to deliver. Construction may slow things a tad for people trying to get in and out of London this Christmas. But we do owe it to the public to let them know. Public accountability and all that rot, y'know. 
And oh, let's keep it positive this time, shall we - let's have no apologies for the inconvenience or any such pre-Thatcher public sector claptrap. Excellent! 
And oh dear lord, I nearly forgot, make it all nice and Christmas-y would you? 
Good lad! Excellent!"

In the immortal words of of Seth Meyers, "Really? Really?"

It is tough to do a good job selling transit-in-development or transit-oriented development, but this big budget, slickly produced spot does a good job of exciting the imagination of the viewer, whether urban-plan-fan, anorak/trainspotter or regular commuter Joes.

"Building tomorrow's network while running today's", says the voiceover.

The English version offers "Tomorrow on track today" as the tagline that closes the spot which sounds rather corporate mission-statement-ish. For communication value, I much prefer the French version which in spirit, says "we have big plans for you." capturing the vision angle with a lovely light touch.

Réseau Ferré De France is the company that builds, maintains and runs the French national railway network. This advertising campaign seems to be well ahead of its website - which while not too badly designed, is a touch dated, and a little too corporate to be effective. Pushing Buses, which has a proprietary Rayon-Polyester-Microfibre-Carbon dating process to estimate such things, dates it circa 2006.

You can watch the "making of" video here, if that's the sort of thing that turns your crank. 

Bon voyage mes amis!

Article and blog, copyright Gavin Barrett 2011. 

San Francisco's BART has long been one of the best transit marketers in the world.

They get it right pretty consistently every time they communicate, whether it's through social media, their website or plain old-fashioned advertising.

A good example is this guerilla marketing effort - a swing installed on BART trains, a few delicious seconds of childlike freedom on your daily commute.

Earth Bus

Earth Bus

Most adults think school kids should be kept away from spray paint. But when they do take a chance they discover there is no energy cleaner than youth energy. In San Diego, school kids were set loose on this San Diego Transit Bus. They left their mark: beautiful images promoting planet friendly activities.

Grass-bus: Mobile lawn spreads environmental awareness at Thessaloniki

Created for Thessaloniki's Innovation Festival, this urban bus takes a leaf out of the suburban lawn to promote green living, clean energy and energy conservation. Inside the bus other greenovations are displayed. The bus itself was moved around, showing up in city squares and other festival venues to surprise, entertain and educate.

The second of those elegant, eloquent, utterly seductive Intercity commercials.
It's a train come true.
This post is first in a series of classic 80s ads for Intercity in the UK, that bring back the romance of travel.

This is persuasion and communications at their best, reminding us always that it's not about the destination it's about the journey. Enjoy it.

Pay for the Subway Using Your iPhone

This new technology being tested on the NYC subway system could make boarding even more rapid on BRT.

via mashable.com - link to article above
Pushing trains should be easier if you're one of the Mad Men, no?

To all promoters, champions and fans of transit and public transportation. Spread the word. Another winter reason to ride, courtesy Statoil.
Will post credits and kudos when I find out whodunnit.

With 705,000 views, this video went viral a while ago. You don't need to understand Mandarin to appreciate the brilliant simplicity of inventor Chen Jianjun's concept: a train that never has to stop at a station. Designed for use on the high speed Wuhan-Guangzhou corridor, the concept uses detachable (and dock-able) disembarkation pods for on-the-go passenger transfers. In eliminating just 15 three-minute stops on the 968-kilometre stretch it would save 45 minutes. The Wugang Passenger Railway, as the line is also known, is already the world's fastest train service (313 km/h average speed impress you much?). It opened for service in December 2009.

"The Train that Never Stops" was a fascinating idea in the first place as its viewership attests, but now it has hit the big time - it made it into the New York Times Magazine's The Year in Ideas - an annual celebration of extraordinary thinking.

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