In the largest transit research on LRT-1 riders done in recent times, marketing agencies PHAR and TNS (part of Kantar Media), interviewed 3,500 LRT-1 commuters in considerable depth.
Results of the survey shed some interesting insights:
- Out of a total of 4.99 million people that comprise the Manila NCR workforce, approximately 500,000 people (10%) ride the LRT-1 on a daily basis.
- The gender split is equal with 49% of commuters being female.
- The average journey time is approximately 42 minutes each way (from arriving at the station, queueing for tickets, riding the train and exiting at destination).
- LRT-1 commuter demographics skew heavily towards 18-29 year olds (59% of commuters). Very significant in comparison to the overall Manila NCR workforce has 30% in the 18-29 year old bracket.
- 88% of commuters are either working professionals or students. Within the working professionals, the average monthly income is 15,000 pesos, and whereas for students the disposable income is 212 pesos per day.
- In terms of device ownership, 97% own a mobile phone, whereas 44% own laptops.
The study also measured high and medium usage categories for these commuters and the brand preferences within the categories revealed interesting insights into purchasing behavior and market share of the top brands in the Philippines. For instance:
Certain categories had clear market leaders like toothpaste (Colgate), bath soap (Safeguard) and softdrinks (Coca Cola). But on the whole, most categories saw close competition between a number of brands fighting for market share and share of voice. These categories include shampoo, canned meat, branded clothing, laundry bars, laundry powder, snacks, chocolate and candies, fruit juices/beverages and cosmetics, amongst others.
Within the services categories, there were clear leaders in certain segments like domestic travel (Cebu Pacific) and cable television (Sky Cable), but in most categories, there was a hard fought contest. These categories include insurance, banking, loan services, and credit cards.
Prem Bhatia, Managing Director of PHAR said, “Transport forms an integral part of the urban landscape and opportunities for brands, basis dwell time and engagement, are immense. The LRT-1 commuters are early jobbers and therefore a perfect audience to develop a brand relationship with. Take financial services for instance – two thirds do not have bank accounts, and 10% have credit cards. The headroom for growth is tremendous.”