In seven years, Minneapolis transportation planners want 60% of trips in the city taken on public transit, or made by biking, walking or rolling.
The effort to achieve that ambitious goal, which is laid out in the city's Transportation Action Plan, began this month as the city partnered with marketing agency Vision Flourish to kick off the mode-shift campaign called "As You Go Minneapolis."
"We want to shift people's behavior and thinking about how to move about the city," said Amy Barnstorff, a transportation planner in the city's Public Works Department.
This summer and into the fall, residents and commuters will see social media ads, wraps on transit vehicles and at bus shelters and promotions at Open Streets — events in which the city turns streets into car-free zones.
Those ads will highlight the benefits city leaders say come with ditching the car.
"When you ride the bus, you are free to type, swipe and scroll," one of the ads promoting time savings reads. "Take the bus and get things done while getting around."
Another ad promotes health benefits that come with walking or biking.
"Get Fit as you Go," it reads. "Explore the city as get around the healthy way."
Only about a third of trips in Minneapolis are taken on active or alternative transportation, such as buses, scooters and bicycles, according to the latest data from the city.
"We have a lot of work to do to reach our goal," Barnstorff said. "It is a priority for the city."
Barnstorff said the city wants to reach anybody who might consider leaving their car at home for all or some trips, but this campaign has a targeted audience: those who live or work along Bus Rapid Transit lines, the growing All Ages and Abilities Network of protected bike lanes and painted lanes on lesser-traveled roads, and pedestrian-friendly commercial areas.
"We are trying to promote those pieces of the transportation system and make them more known," Barnstorff said.
To whet residents' appetites, the city at some Open Streets events will offer demonstrations and free rides on scooters and bicycles from Lime, Spin and Veo, the vendors providing those services this year.
"Research shows people are hesitant to try something new or something they are not familiar with," Barnstorff said. By giving people an opportunity to hop on, "maybe they will be encouraged to try it."
Taking cars off the street can lead to less congestion and noise, improved air quality and an overall healthier climate, Barnstorff said.
And another benefit: "Studies have shown with bike paths, people spend money along those routes," she said.
Minnesota's long winters do present a challenge, Barnstorff said.
"You can still get around" without a car, she said, noting that options for buses and walking remain. "They don't go away."