Smart Trips Union Park was part of the Smart Trips Neighborhoods program from St. Paul Smart Trips. It used direct individualized marketing techniques to get people out of their cars and choosing sustainable alternatives such as transit, biking and walking. The program utilized direct mailings, bike delivery of materials (Smart Trips Kits) and free events to engage interested households and provide them with the information they need to make changes in how they get around. Through the summer and fall of 2009, the program targeted the pproximately 7,100 households in the Union Park neighborhood of St. Paul with the goal of changing their travel behavior.
Approximately 10.9% of neighborhood households (709 households) ordered a Smart Trips Kit. Kits were delivered to households by bike and contained packets full of customized nformation on walking, biking and transit, including a neighborhood coupon book, reusable tote bag and a neighborhood map.
The program hosted 17 bike rides, guided walks and workshops, which were attended by over 150 people. The events were free to attend and were open to the general public, as well as program participants. Specifi c events included a bike ride to the Midtown Greenway, a church architecture walk and a workshop on basic bike maintenance.
The program cost $134,500 to administer, which amounts to $4.53 per neighborhood resident. Funding came from a variety of sources including Bike Walk Twin Cities and a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant.
The results from a before-and-after phone survey demonstrated improvements over the baseline study, when compared to a control neighborhood. However, we are cautious to draw serious conclusions from the results due to a small sample size and large margin of error. With this caveat in mind, Union Park residents showed the following shifts:
Results from an online participant survey also show a positive impact on behavior change. Approximately 83% of survey respondents reported taking new walking, biking or transit trips since joining the program and 89% of respondents said program materials or communications helped them make those new trips.