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Sound Transit - Link Light Rail Safety Education Campaign

Services:
Media Relations, Issues Advocacy, Creative Promotions, Communications Planning, Community Outreach, Event Planning, Graphic Design, Message Development, Website Content and Development, Video Production

Zap on Board


Situation
In 2009, Sound Transit launched the very first line of the Link Light Rail trains, taking passengers from Downtown Seattle to Tukwila. The new trains travel up to 55 mph and are relatively quiet. This poses safety issues in densely populated areas with lots of pedestrian traffic, such as the Rainier Valley, particularly since there are many places without guardrails along street-level tracks.

Sound Transit brought Team Soapbox on board to create a safety education program to educate and prepare area youth (grades K-12) and their communities. Sound Transit wanted a program that would get students of all ages actively learning about safety near the trains.

Strategy
There is no finer method for teaching children than their own enthusiasm. Team Soapbox developed unique approaches to accomplishing this task:

  • Zap on Board Game: A simple-to-learn and easy-to-play board game, distributed to each K-8 student located along the ground level portion of the light-rail alignment in Rainier Valley. We incorporated and illustrated the Zap Gridlock mascot as the fun and friendly teacher of train safety featured in the game.

  • We created a film contest to reach teenagers and older students, inviting them to create their own grassroots videos that told the story of train safety.

  • A website, www.zaponboard.com, was created, featuring all of the safety videos and an online tool to vote for the best student film. The site also features an online safety game, and safety tips in 12 different languages!

  • We produced and filmed a professional PSA titled “Look. Listen. Live.


Results
  • To date, over 6,000 Zap on Board games have been distributed via schools and community partners.

  • Team Soapbox arranged for showings of the safety PSAs at area high school assemblies as well as the Rainier Boys and Girls Club.

  • The student film portion of the campaign was the winner of the National Transportation Research Board’s John and Jane Q. Public contest. It was judged against work from across the nation.

  • The Zap on Board game was named “1st Runner-up” of the same contest.

Sound Transit Videos



Sound Transit safety PSA: Look. Listen. Live.

Sound Transit student safety film contest: You Can't Beat the Train