2016 Grants Challenge

Off Peak Podcast

Idea by LA Metro

LA Metro is deepening Los Angeles County’s connection to itself by telling the diverse story of who we are and who we want to be through the lens of riding public transportation.


Are any other organizations collaborating on this proposal?

The Glue

Please describe your project proposal.

LA Metro aims to connect Los Angeles residents to our community through the use of the podcasting medium to tell our collective urban story. We seek to unearth the iconic story of how the people of Los Angeles learn, create, play, connect, and live in our vibrant community. The podcast celebrates the past, present and future of mobility in Los Angeles through narrative content by creating story-driven podcasts that educate, inspire and entertain people.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will your proposal impact?​

Social & emotional support

Cultural events

Public/open streets gatherings

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs

Travel time to work

Public transit riders

Total number of local social media friends and connections Angelenos have

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to CONNECT?

LA has reputation for being a region of missed connections and traffic jams. We are challenging that assertion & telling the story of LA County through a podcast series that is intended to spark conversations and generate enthusiasm for the experiences of how we get around and live in our urban region. Off Peak uses storytelling to bring the past, present, and future of transit to the people of LA County.

Both inside and outside LA, there is an outdated stereotype that the only way to get around is through a sea of traffic congestion. But, there is so much more to getting around our region. LA has an iconic past of cycleways, electric rail service, funiculars, and a veritable encyclopedia of transit dreams that didn’t quite make it (Just Google: Aerial Swallow Burbank!). We also have a vibrant bus, rail, pedestrian, and cycling community, with entrepreneurs trying to disrupt the single-occupancy-vehicle at every turn.

These are the stories we want to bring to our community, shifting our perspective and our connection to our city and one another. Off Peak challenges the traditional car-centric narrative of Southern California through a story-driven series of podcasts. The series celebrates the intriguing stories that occur between Point A and Point B, as we roll and stroll.

Each episode features real people with real experiences in LA, and we encourage story ideas and participation with all segments of the community. We document important events within transit and serve as a trusted voice for people who may not otherwise be heard. The long-term vision for Off Peak will feature community events, live performances, and regular segments connecting citizens to Metro in a personal and human way.

Metro is producing a four-podcast mini-series to kick off this concept. Two podcasts have already launched with a third coming on October 7. In “True Tales from Bus Drivers” listeners get a front-row seat to the twists and turns of maneuvering a 40-foot bus through LA. From nerve wracking 1st days, getting lost en route, sexism, homelessness, and the passengers that make it all worthwhile, Metro bus operators are the modern Zen masters of the streets. Link:

“Roads Were Not Made for Cars” tells the story of the evolution of American roads from their origins as ancient paths for mastodons to the rutted muck tracks traveled by horse drawn carriages, through their virtual abandonment during the height of the train era and on to their resurrection as smoothly paved roads designed for bicyclists. How we got to the car-covered roads of today is a tangle of coincidences and conspiracies that no one would have predicted.

We’re asking for your support to take the 4 episode pilot that we have begun, and expand this project with an additional 12 episodes to continue to grow and expand our communal story, reminding our community how Los Angeles is truly the best place in the world to connect with our fellow citizens.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

Our project is about building and reinforcing the Angeleno story. From a quantitative perspective, we will measure our success by the number of times the podcast is downloaded, the number of times it is listened to, direct or media related responses to the podcast, and community engagement with the development of future episodes. However, our true success is intangible. As such, we will define our success as helping to remind our fellow Angelenos of our urban story, and helping them to explore the variety of ways we move around our great region.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?


Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Story Ideas, Interviewees