The Train Switch

Every year when the first snow comes, the train services always suffer in Sweden, resulting in long delays and cancelled trains. To let people know about the advantage of traveling with buses from Swebus, and to steal customers from the big national railroad company, Swebus launched a new discount system called The Swebus Train Switch. We built the system by tapping into an unofficial API of the Swedish Transport Administration, enabling us to monitor the delays in real-time.

Swebus Splash
Delayed trains

We set up a system that was monitoring Sweden's ten biggest train stations in real-time, and whenever a train was late the Train Switch generated a discount ticket on Swebus trips, free for anyone to collect on the website. Each delayed minute equalled a 1% discount. If a train was canceled the bus ticket was completely free of charge. Delays are not fun when you’re on the train, but through this campaign at least someone got something good out of it.

Trainswitch Feed Phone
Wait for your ticket

Our system could fetch the current delays live, resulting in a site that always filled up with new content while the users were waiting for the most beneficial discount. When a delayed train arrived at the station, the discount would appear on the site and only one person could collect each ticket, so to get a good discount users had to be alert while waiting - rewarding the patient. Or as we like to put it: Squatters get loot ^^

Make it rain

The campaign made a lot of heads turn, including the Swedish minister of infrastructure, who retweeted a link to the website. Unfortunately (for the people riding the trains) the discounts came in at a high rate: within the first 24 hours there were more than two thousand delayed or cancelled trains. The campaign won three bronze and one silver lion at Cannes, one gold and one silver at New York Festivals, two gold and one silver at London International Awards, and finally a Tomorrow Award. 

Swebus Prizes