Create transit culture and boost ridership via Metro weekends!
While LA spends heavily on transit, our ridership numbers remain low, at a shocking 6.8% even before the pandemic. Ridership-boosting projects traditionally focus on work commuting. However, we found this strategy to be quite ineffective because changing an engrained habit on a busy workday is very difficult. But what about on days where people go out of their way to seek novelty: weekends? So this project aims to create transit-oriented weekends with the aim of familiarizing Angelenos with Metro and thus boost ridership over time!
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
San Fernando Valley
County of Los Angeles
City of Los Angeles
What is the problem that you are seeking to address?
We aim to address traffic, pollution, C02 emissions, and mobility equity stemming from LA’s car-centric transportation system. Traffic: LA leads the nation in traffic, 167 hours every year Pollution: LA County is home to “14 of the nation’s 25 worst cities for air pollution” negatively impacting the health of millions Emissions: Cars & trucks are responsible for 33% of green house gases in LA County Equity: Owning a car costs over $9000 per car every year putting enormous financial burden on lower income families An option to the private car is public transit. Yet LA Metro continues bleeding riders, culminating in a ridership collapse from the COVID pandemic, even as LA invests billions on new lines. Interviews of Angeleno commuters revealed a stunning lack of familiarity with Metro lines and exposed the challenge of changing habits during busy workdays. Our goal is to help grow Metro ridership by addressing these two problems, to help decrease driving and its associated harms.
Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.
We aim to boost transit ridership by habituating Angelenos to Metro via transit-oriented weekends. We will kick off this project with a beautiful poster-map showcasing the many exciting points of interest found along LA’s Metro Rail & BRT network. This piece is designed to mirror the fun and utility of illustrated tourist-style maps inviting urban exploration, while serving as a weekly visual reminder & word-of-mouth generator as a poster. The poster will launch with an IndieGoGo campaign in June 2021, in time for a post-COVID LA. We will use this pilot to gather feedback as well as seed social media with the next phase of the project: once a month events curating points of interest along with local shops, eateries, parks, and bars to create fun weekend plans for Angelenos! We will post these monthly events on a dedicated site and spread the word via social media, blog, and press coverage as well as leverage Have A Go’s growing audience of 5000+ to promote them. We will also put ad dollars to work as well as encourage participants to document their adventures with a dedicated hashtag to further spread the program. The final phase would be creating physical activations along Metro stations. These can start off small, with signage at participating locations and scale up to entire festival-sized events. The breadth of these activations will depend on learnings of the first two phases as well as the size of grants, sponsorships, coverage, and additional partnerships earned.
In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?
Pilot or new project, program, or initiative
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?
Direct Impact: 7,000
Indirect Impact: 35,000
Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.
In the short term, success for Have A Go on Metro would create at least several thousand more transit riders, taking thousands of cars off the road. But the goal of this program is longer in term: creating a sizable, CicLAvia-style program (which has a 100K attendee rate) to help spark a weekend transit culture and cultivate mass habituation with transit in LA, leading to a shift in Metro ridership. Paired with continued investments Metro is making, we could help LA County be a very different place over the next decade. LA could start resembling cities that reduce their car dependance: healthier, wealthier, more sustainable, more equitable, and more pleasant. And shockingly, it doesn’t take that much behavior change to lead to cascading positive changes: Two examples: -It only takes a 10-20% decrease in car traffic to go from gridlock to flowing traffic. -“Choosing a bike over a car just once a day reduces an average citizen’s carbon emissions from transport by 67%.”
What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?
Have A Go is a startup that believes in clear and measurable goals. First, we will gauge initial interest in this idea during phase one via our crowdfunding goal of $20,000 raised. Second, we will measure the actual use of the poster via the number of a dedicated hashtag used after initial delivery of posters as purchasers capture their Metro weekends: 100 social media posts (to start) Third, we will gauge continued interest in this idea during phase two with number of website visits: 8,000 unique views per month (to start) Second, we will measure the actual use of the poster via the number of a dedicated hashtag used after the website launch as visitors to the site capture their Metro weekend experiences: 1000 social media posts (to start) These metrics will then be used to sell sponsorships, collect grants, and sell additional merchandise to grow the program at each phase.
Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.
Intersect LA: A Los Angeles based strategy and design studio has been working with us on designing the poster for months, an intricate design job with over 70 separate illustrations.
Which of the CONNECT metrics will you impact?
Public arts and cultural events
Travel time to work
Public transit ridership
Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.
LA is the best place to PLAY
LA is the healthiest place to LIVE