2021 Grants Challenge

Improving Air Quality at LAX by Reducing Employee Traffic

LAX was the third-busiest airport in the world in 2019, and with more travelers returning to the skies, tens of thousands of airport workers will once again commute to the airport on a daily basis. LAX is a 24/7 operation with 50,000+ badged employees, and approximately 75% of those employees drive alone to work. That's A LOT of cars on the road, and that's why LAWA is launching commuteLAX, a Transportation Management Organization (TMO) designed to help LAX employees find alternative modes of transportation to ease their commute to work.


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

Central LA

East LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South LA


South Bay

Antelope Valley

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Traffic in Los Angeles and around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has been a known issue for decades, contributing to highway and roadway congestion, affecting local air quality, and causing stress for both the traveler and commuter. In 2019, an average of 97,248 vehicles entered the airport daily, dropping to 46,915 in 2020. As Angelenos ease back into air travel and LAX employees return to work, the airport has a unique opportunity to get ahead of this expected surge. With construction of the People Mover and other airport access improvement programs underway, we have developed commuteLAX to encourage employees to leave their cars at home and use alternative commute options like transit, carpools, vanpool, and active transportation programs. commuteLAX is a monumental step forward to help LAX bounce back stronger than before. Changing our travel mindset and commute behavior, one employee at a time.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

commuteLAX will serve as a one-stop shop for transportation information, resources, and services for all LAX employees and employers, including airlines, concessionaires, and contractors. The commuteLAX service will officially launch in Summer 2021 and offer employee commute programs such as personalized transit trip planning, carpool and vanpool matching, secure bike lockers, and public bike racks. The grant will be used to expand our vanpool fleet, offset the cost of monthly vanpool fares, host annual campaigns for events like Rideshare Week and Earth Day, and incentivize alternative commute trips by providing discounted or free transit passes, gift cards, gas cards, car washes, and Guaranteed Ride Home trips, which are available for commuteLAX participants who experience an emergency and need to get home right away.

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: 50,000

Indirect Impact: 260,696

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Historically, the perennial joke in Los Angeles is that the greatest act of friendship is to pick someone up at LAX. Imagine making that drive every workday. We want to lessen that burden on our employees by improving their quality of life while reducing traffic and our carbon footprint. As a notoriously congested employment center within LA County, we must focus on changing employee travel behavior by encouraging and incentivizing the use of alternative commute modes as employees return to work. With the 2022 NFL Super Bowl, 2022 MLB All-Star Game, the 2028 Olympic and Para-Olympic Games, and other large-scale events coming to Los Angeles and surrounding cities, LAX will be the first stop for many visitors. Our efforts will help improve traffic for travelers, employees, and the nearby community. Reducing traffic at the airport is one of the ways we'll serve our community, ending the joke by making it irrelevant.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Employees who participate in commuteLAX will report their alternative commute trips, we will in turn be able to track and calculate vehicle miles, gallons of gas, and emissions saved. This data will be collected on a monthly basis and used to calculate environmental impacts and track the success of the program. Our short-term goal in the first year is to bring awareness of the program to employees and guide them to alternative commute options. Our long-term goal is to reduce employee trips to the airport by 20 percent.

Which of the CONNECT metrics will you impact?​

Government responsiveness to residents’ needs

Travel time to work

Public transit ridership

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE