Catering to Young People…Finally!

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One thing that really, really hacks me off is when business owners get all disgruntled about teenagers hanging out in their places of business. In high school, my friends and I would often hang out on the parking lots of local convenience stores, only to be shooed off a few times per night by the owner who thought we were “bad for business.” Sure, we were loitering, but we were also bringing a significant amount of $$$ to his store. After all, half a dozen high school football players can drink a ton of Mountain Dew!

So, while reading the Sunday paper, I found an article that really made me smile. Across the river in the land that is affectionately known as “the east side”, the local transit system is not only welcoming teens to use their services, but making it easy, cheap AND encouraging them to do so. In these days where rising gas prices have brought the old idea of “cruising” to a standstill, the bus system in Collinsville, IL has created a youth bus pass; unlimited rides all summer for teens. For $10. That’s like an ounce of gas…or the equivalent thereof! What’s even better is that the youth pass went from $20 last summer to the current charge of $10. And what does the bus system get out of this? Customer loyalty. Their mindset is that if they can get teens to start using the bus now, they’ll be more likely to use it in their adult years. Pretty smart thinkin’, eh?

If every company thought like this, extended such great deals to teens and directed their marketing to young people, teens might actually do more than just suck down gallons of Mountain Dew all night!

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