Railway journeys in the last two decades have doubled from 735 million in 1994 to nearly 1.5 billion this year (Department of Transport), and the National Travel Survey estimates that on an average weekday, around 50% of rail trips are for commuting. There may be many more rail journeys today but they are no longer the commutes of old. The growing use of smartphones coupled with various Wi-Fi offers provided by train operators means that a new generation of commuters has emerged. Passengers now spend their travelling time catching up on emails, browsing online or interacting with others via social media. JCDecaux Rail provides opportunities to reach this audience who are ready to engage with the world and most importantly, available to reach at regular times. Commuters can be reminded that certain products or services are available at their destination stations; they can also be prompted to browse online for further information or deals. To gain a deeper understanding of this high value audience, JCDecaux is the first media owner in the UK to set up a mobile panel made up of rail commuters. The community consists of over 2,000 rail commuters in London and the South East (LSE).

When compared to the all adult UK population, LSE rail commuters are an affluent audience

  • 46% more likely than the average adult to be a business decision maker
  • 138% more likely to have a household income of £55,000 or more
  • 86% would use their mobile phone to purchase items

Unique insights on the rail audience are gathered using quick polls, longer surveys or in-depth forums. Topics are current and usually based on product category. Some of the results generated so far are:

  • Entertainment – 1 in 3 plan to buy an e-book reader in the future
  • Fashion – 55% buy new clothes at least once a month
  • Finance – 1 in 3 think about their finances on their commute
  • Health – 46% of commuters buy pharmaceuticals at stations
  • Motoring – 38% use their car every day to travel to the train station
  • Travel – 30% are willing to spend £1k+ per adult on holidays
JCDecaux Rail offers advertisers an ideal channel to communicate, connect with and build relationships with this highly mobile and engaged audience. Further findings can be obtained from JCDecaux UK’s website, or continue to read part 2 of our Rail series on Australia.