Nexus has won a national marketing award for its Buses Are Getting Better promotion in Tyne and Wear.
The campaign was named best UK Transport Campaign at the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards in London, beating rivals Northern Trains, Merseytravel and Publicis Modem for EasyJet.
Buses Are Getting Better, run in partnership with bus companies, used real passengers from all walks of life to explain why they found travelling by bus the best way to get around.
This was just one strand of a campaign which also highlighted the massive investment made by bus companies in new vehicles for Tyne and Wear.
It also promoted bus as a greener mode of travel and safe form of transport thanks to measures like on-board CCTV and improved lighting at interchanges and in shelters.
Bus travel in Tyne and Wear has risen 5% over the year the campaign was running. Passenger numbers are at their highest level for a decade.
Kerry Leng, Head of Marketing for Nexus, said: “Our campaign highlighted the simple benefits of choosing the bus.
“It was aimed at people who might not have been on a bus for years – and might be surprised to discover the quality, comfort and value public transport now offers.
“We are thrilled to have been named the best in the UK in competition with major national and international brands.”
Cllr David Wood, Chairman of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority, added: “This is recognition for the hard work done by the ITA, Nexus and its partners to promote sustainable transport as the best choice, by improving the services we offer.”
As well as a region-wide marketing campaign Buses Are Getting Better also used promoted local improvements to services.
Door-to-door leaflets were delivered in Newcastle to promote the arrival of £2.5m of new buses on the Stagecoach 1 route.
Bus shelter advertising was also purchased on the city’s Great North Road to tie-in with new Arriva buses using the route into the city centre.
And in Gateshead 10,000 homes received leaflets explaining how buses linked families to amenities like shops, leisure centres and health facilities as part of the East Gateshead Quality Partnership between Go North East, Nexus and Gateshead Council.