“Do it on the Bus” campaign gets mixed reactions

The Do it on the Bus campaign intends to promote public transit usage by showcasing things that you can do on the bus that you can’t do while driving your car.

Buses line up in front of Dal's Student Union Building. (Alissa MacDougall photo)

By Alissa MacDougall

Cassandra Barnes has never witnessed someone doing anything strange on the bus, but her mother has. “My mom once saw somebody clipping their toe nails on the bus…gross.” This may not be what Metro Transit had in mind with the roll out of its new advertising campaign Do it on the Bus.

The new campaign launched on Tuesday. It intends to promote public transit usage by showcasing things you can do on the bus that you can’t do while driving your car. Tiffany Chase, spokesperson for Metro Transit, explains that the campaign is “intentionally cheeky” to ensure that the public notices it.

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Tiffany Chase – Campaign costs
Tiffany Chase explains the monetary investment in the Do it on the Bus Campaign.

The campaign will be advertised through posters, radio, and online media and will run for the next 11 weeks. According to Chase, the campaign is intended to highlight improvements within the system, such as the new route to the airport and the new bridge terminal, and to improve the relationship between bus users and bus drivers.

Students rely on Metro Transit for commuting. (Alissa MacDougall photo)

Barnes, 18, thinks that Metro Transit is an essential part of commuting in Halifax, “I think it’s good to have buses because then there aren’t as many cars on the road.” Barnes acknowledges that the driver/user relationship depends on personal experience. “If you have a terrible experience on a bus you probably won’t forget it, which sucks, because then it’s hard not to classify every bus driver as some asshole since there are really nice people here.”

Since it began, Do it on the Bus has been trending on Twitter and has sparked a parody account. Tweets including #doitonthebus vary from personal experiences on the bus to criticism and praise about the campaign. A common concern is that the money being spent on the campaign could be better used for improving Metro Transit. Although the cheeky nature of the slogan seems to appeal to some people, there are others that see it in poor taste.