Audience Engagement > Getting to the Theatre

Biking and Walking

Improving your venue’s infrastructure to promote walking and bicycling can be a relatively inexpensive, small-scale change that supports ecologically preferable transportation and benefit public health. By improving pedestrian and bicycle access to your theatre, your can help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution on show days, which benefits the environment as well as the health of theatregoers, cast, crew members, and theatre staff. Bicycling also helps support the health and wellbeing of those travelling to the theatre through exercise.

Tips to promote bicycling:

  • Provide secure and conveniently located bicycle racks for people travelling to the venue.
  • Provide safe pedestrian walkways to the facility from nearby transit options.
  • Prominently display pedestrian and bike maps in staff rooms and feature information on your website.
  • Offer incentives for walking and biking to the venue.
  • Arrange discounts at local bicycling shops or bike sharing programs for ticket-holders.
  • Disseminate information concerning bike routes and bicycle-friendly public transportation connections to audience members and feature all environmentally preferable transit information on your website.
  • Encourage staff cycling groups and events to promote organization-wide biking.

Environmental Benefits

The transportation sector is one of the main sources of smog, carbon monoxide, global warming, and harmful particles that can cause respiratory illnesses and other health problems. Bicycling or walking helps reduce all of these impacts, saves money, and is a healthy way to begin and end the day.

Additional Resources

  • NYC Bike Maps
  • Bicycling Alliance – Ways to Promote Bicycling
  • Federal Highway Department – Bicycle and Pedestrian Program

Public Transit

Public transportation is often cheaper than travel by car, and increased use of buses, trains, and subways reduces the need for onsite parking facilities. Review the ideas and resources in this section for more information on how to increase travel by public transportation to your theatre.

Tips to encourage public transit

  • Reward attendees who present evidence of public transit ridership (e.g.- monthly pass, day pass receipt, etc.) with recognition and/or a small prize.
  • Work with your public transit agency to have theatre tickets double as round-trip transportation passes or trigger a discounted fare during periods of low ridership.
  • Provide information on your website and in publicity materials on public transit options, maps, and schedules, including park & ride sites.

Environmental Benefits

Using public transportation cuts down on the number of cars on the road. In addition, many forms of public transportation use environmentally preferable fuels such as natural gas, electricity, and fuel cells. Using public transportation therefore reduces the transportation sector’s emissions of harmful pollutants such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulates. This reduces the emissions that cause smog, global warming, acid rain, and other negative health effects.

Additional Resources

Carpools

Carpooling can save theatregoers money by reducing the amount of gas they buy and money they spend on auto-related upkeep. It also has significant environmental benefits, including reducing the emission of harmful air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds. Review the tips and resources below for information on how to increase carpooling to your venue.

Carpooling Tips

  • Provide preferential parking for carpoolers.
  • Circulate tips for effective and enjoyable carpools on your website.
  • Offer other incentives for carpoolers.
  • Use your organization’s website to coordinate carpooling or recommend another existing carpooling website to help audience members efficiently organize a regular carpool in their area.

Environmental Benefits

Carpooling reduces the total amount of cars on the road, which in turn reduces the many forms of pollution associated with the transportation sector, including smog, global warming, and respiratory health effects.

Additional Resources

  • 10 Tips for a Successful Carpool
  • U.S. EPA – Emissions and Gas Savings from a Sample Car Pool

Incentives for Hybrids/Electric Vehicles

Hybrid and electric vehicles can save money and reduce emissions of harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Consider providing preferential and/or discounted parking for audience members who attend shows with a hybrid or electric vehicle. Also consider working with sponsors or local businesses to partner on other incentives for attendees who drive hybrid and electric vehicles.

You may also want to consider installing electric-charging stations at your venue for attendees with plug-in vehicles. Even better, partner with sponsors to install solar systems to power electric-charging stations.

Many cities offer car share programs – also consider offering preferential parking for those using car sharing.