To begin building popular and political support for its bid on an upcoming high-speed rail project in Florida, tech giant Siemens’ Mobility Division will hit four of the state’s cities to educate consumers about the high-tech public transportation system, which would be one of the first of its kind in the U.S. The project has an allocated $2 billion in federal funding and is expected to award the winning bidder in the summer of 2012.
Siemens and its partners Skanska, Veolia and FCC/Globalvia, together known as Florida Rail Ventures, launched the “Future of Florida High-Speed Rail Tour” in Tampa in October, visited Orlando in November and will continue to Miami and Tallahassee this spring. Each tour stop consists of events held in a six-classroom space where stakeholders, politicos and consumers learn about the project’s potential to create jobs and positive economic impact, while using sustainable technology. Exhibits are made up of interactive videos, wall displays and a full-scale model of the Velaro high-speed train. The real star is the virtual 200-m.p.h. ride on the train, designed to give attendees a sense of the travel in a full-sized passenger train car. So far, the tour has touched more than 5,000 visitors and garnered about 670 million media impressions, according to Siemens. The next stop, in Tallahassee, will be March 10-13. The Miami dates have not yet been determined.
“We are trying to educate the general public, politicians and decision-makers about the benefits of high-speed rail and how the project will provide much needed jobs to the state,” Becky Johnson, director-public affairs at Siemens Mobility Division, told Buzz. “The Future of Florida Tour is a great way to get more attention for our proposal early in the process.” Agency: OgilvyAction, New York City.