Tolling was necessary to move the long-debated $2.3 billion Ohio River Bridges Project from conversation to construction. Our challenge was to first inform drivers of the benefits of the project, the necessity of tolling and how all-electronic tolling works. After the successful launch of tolling, the focus shifted to encourage more drivers to open prepaid accounts and have confidence in the system.
Since 2016, C2 Strategic has played a lead role in a robust public outreach and media relations campaign. C2 took part in numerous open houses, dozens of presentations to businesses and community groups and scores of interviews to support the successful launch of tolling.
Communication needs have shifted as the tolling system matures and C2 has led a nimble and strategic effort including hundreds of media interviews, targeted outreach, creative social media, diverse paid advertising and website improvements that reached broad regional audiences.
RiverLink launched tolling operations in late 2016 with 70,000 accounts opened and more than 150,000 transponders requested. Drivers were prepared for the return of tolled bridges after an absence of more than 70 years.
Marketing and outreach efforts have supported solid growth in the number of prepaid accounts, transponders and penetration rates each year of tolling. There were nearly 233,000 prepaid accounts and 454,000 transponders at the end of 2020. Continued growth shows drivers have adjusted to new routes and a new tolling system.