NFTA - 19 IDEAS

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

Metro Rail Expansion project

In 2016, the NFTA concluded years’ worth of research and analysis on alternate transit options in the Amherst Corridor (the area between the University at Buffalo’s North and South Campuses). Armed with hundreds of documents, statistics, reports and recommendations, the NFTA was faced with a communication challenge – how can they tell their story and make their recommendation to the University at Buffalo and the general public in the most effective and compelling way?

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The 19 IDEAS approach

We understood what was at stake. The NFTA needed to gain buy-in from the University at Buffalo and local municipalities in order for their project to get off the ground. We also understood that simply citing fact after figure wasn’t going to be the best approach.

Of course, dollars and cents drive a lot of decisions. The cost of the project was high. But we also felt strongly that the community impact, and the individual impact the Metro Rail Expansion project could have on the lives of so many Western New York residents, was even greater.

So we condensed and compiled hundreds of pieces of information, pulling out the salient and impactful points to tell the story in a way that was sure to resonate with the individual first, and the school and municipalities second.

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Personalizing the story

We created custom head-shot illustrations to accompany a graphic of the extended train line. Each illustrated person was given a brief story depicting how their day-to-day lives will change with the addition of an expanded Metro Rail.

Unique formatting and presentation of the map

Understanding that this communication was predicated on in-person meetings, we needed to provide a physical wow factor. To do this, we incorporated a tailored vellum overlay to best showcase the proposed additions to the metro line. The booklet opened to a printed map showing only the current metro line, but when the next page was turned, a vellum page was overlaid onto the map, and the new line was placed in the exact location of the proposed route.

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Showing broader support

A project of this magnitude needed to pack an additional punch. No matter how great the story, it was critical to demonstrate wide-ranging support across New York State. Working together with our client, and through independent research of our own, we secured powerful and impactful quotes of support from key figures and publications around town.

Smart infographics

Information is so much easier to consume when it is presented in a visually appealing way. Not only did we put together nice graphics, the themes and icons used were also a direct correlation to the project and points noted within.

Train stops

A simple but clever creative treatment added to the bottom corner of each page guided you through the booklet and through the project.

The finished product

The result was a comprehensive, yet concise, 16-page brochure that creatively told a story of community impact and benefits of an expanded Metro Rail. The meetings held with the University at Buffalo and government leaders used this communication as the focal point of the discussion, and the outcomes were successful. The project garnered the initial support it needed to move to the next phase.

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