AMS, UBC, launched $15,000 campaign to encourage students to complete TransLink survey

The AMS and UBC have just concluded a campaign to encourage student participation in Translink’s 10-year priorities survey.

The campaign — which cost an estimated $15,000 — aimed to get students to express their support for the SkyTrain to UBC Project in the TransLink survey. It featured social media posts on AMS and UBC accounts on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

TransLink described its survey as a public engagement period whose main aim was to gather “feedback on major investment decisions” regarding public transit systems. This feedback will then be relayed to the Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation and the TransLink Board of Directors.

Tina Lovgreen, a TransLink spokesperson, wrote in a statement that, “The public is asked to select their level of support for prioritizing these investments, which includes [the] Millennium Line UBC Extension” in the survey.

“It’s so important for students to engage with this survey, and while we all hate filling out surveys, making the Skytrain to UBC the forefront of transport 2050 will mean you’ll have the opportunity to not only help build the Skytrain to UBC, but to have it done sooner,” said the AMS’s former and current VP External Affairs, Saad Shoaib and Erin Co in a video that was part of the AMS’s Instagram campaign.

The AMS also offered gift cards as an incentive to complete Translink's survey throughout its promotional campaign.

Michael White, UBC’s associate vice-president of Campus and Community Planning confirmed that the campaign “will really help [TransLink] finalize their tenure priorities, and then that will enable the next steps necessary to make that the plan a reality and that then of course help the UBC SkyTrain project advances.”

The AMS did not respond to requests for comment.

TransLink’s survey ran from April 20 to May 4. UBC plans to measure the campaign’s success by counting the viewing of survey-related materials on the channels used to distribute the campaign, tallying how much website traffic was generated through campaign ads and via TransLink’s sharing of the survey’s high-level results.

“Given the fact that UBC community members are really transit users, not just getting to and from campus, but for all aspects of the of their lives, we really thought it was an important opportunity for folks to be able to share their thoughts on the proposed plan and reiterate for many of them their support through the SkyTrain to campus sooner rather than later,” said Janeen Alliston, director of communications for Campus and Community Planning.

The AMS encouraged students to see the big picture of the campaign, too. In a video posted on Instagram, Co said, “The Skytrain isn’t just about convenient transit, it’s about creating new jobs, partnering with Indigenous communities, fostering sustainable growth and having more affordable housing.”