Design, Art direction
Ventura, CA

LA Metro

Brand extension concept on how to encourage Angelenos to use public transit.

Strategy / Identity design

/ Introduction

Examined LA Metro as my final project for Brand Experience Design, at Art Center Extension.

We were each assigned to take a failling brand and add an “extension” to its business model. This took into account the full customer journey, product concept, positioning and marketing.

 ︎ Josue Juarez 

/ Why

Recently I’d heard about LA Metro’s falling ridership despite its growth in stops, lines, and E-bikes. And as someone driving 2 hours in traffic to get to this weekly night class, I wondered why there wasn’t a better why. I decided to focus on LA Metro.

LA Metro serves as a transportation planner and coordinator, designer, builder and operator for one of the country’s largest, most populous counties.

  • Bus

13,978 Bus Stops / 2,308 Bus Fleet

  • Rail

93 Stations / 6 Rails

  • Bike

140 Stations / 1,400 Bikes

/ Context

LA, was at one point, the leading city in the nation for public transit. How did it reverse, and why do people drive instead?

︎ Archives from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

/ History

I researched ︎ the rise and fall of LA’s public transit in the 1900s.

A semi-brief summary: a relative to a railroad tycoon  (Huntington) built a network of suburbs and lines to dominate transporation in LA. The Pacific Electric Railway was super efficient, but over the years the line was eventually split into two entities, and one was found guilty of monopolizing buses. A theory holds that the auto industry was part of the scandal, disrupting the industry so they themselves could benefit from cars on the road instead.

LA Metro formed to combine all the different public transits under one agency. They are left with (and are now partially responsible for) the mess that we witness today.

/ Business Goal

To provide a world-class transportation system that enhances quality of life for all who live, work and play within LA County. 


/ Stats

Pulled some numbers about LA Metro’s current userbase. 


Average number of people who
ride bus or rail per weekday

Breakdown of commuters and
their transit preference.
Census Reporter

/ Expansion

LA Metro has been expanding their network of lines and projects.

  LA Metro

/ Trends
/ Why

Despite their efforts, LA Metro’s ridership has been declining. There are a few explanations for why: constant construction, increasing housing prices, traffic surrounding LA Metro touchpoints, and tech advances (Byrd, Uber, etc).

LA Metro

/ Primary Research

To further understand the LA Metro’s unpopularity, I sent out a survey ︎to my friends in LA to get a feel for their relationship to LA Metro. A key takeaway for me was the reaction to level of safety.

In response to “How safe do
you feel on public transit in LA?”
18 Respondants,
August 2019

/ Satisfaction
/ Harassment 

In support of my own findings, I found something similar through LA Metro’s research.

I was surprised that cleanliness was the lowest scoring within the categories of satisfaction. That seemed like an easy win, relative to other areas that need improvement.

I was also appalled at the frequency of sexual harassment that takes place on the LA Metro. This seemed inexecusable.

LA Metro

/ Target Market

I realized I wasn’t going to solve public transit in LA. To have a somewhat realistic solution to an aspect of LA Metro, I focused specifically on its safety and cleanliness.
  • Pain Points

LA Metro is uncomfortable and doesn’t feel safe

  • Needs

Security and cleanliness while travelling and/or commuting

  • Wants

A relaxying, affordable experience that contributes to the community

/ Competitive Analysis

I looked at other safe and efficient executions in the industry. They all used some sort of screening, and I wondered how LA Metro could adopt a similar tactic.

/ Design Question

To help frame my proposal,
I zoomed in on one question.

How can LA Metro provide a safe and enjoyable ridership experience?

/ Proposal

I pitched (to my professor and class) that LA Metro invest in rail cars that require a light background check upon entry.

/ Positioning Statement

Move on up. Simply enroll online for a free background check, and we’ll move you to a car dedicated to people like you.


/ Value Proposition

Offering a safer and better public transit experience with Metro Elect.

/ Brand Video

︎ Death to Stock / ︎ LA Metro

/ User Journey

/ How It Works

/ Final Thoughts
/ Disclaimer

I acknowledge that Metro Elect does not take into account undocumented immigrants, those experiencing homelessness, and other marginalized groups. It would have exclusatory effects on these parties.

This course helped me to better understand brand positioning and market research, and though my concept is flawed, I am grateful to have learned the material along the way.

Full Deck ︎︎︎


︎︎︎ Back

Maxine Tsang
James Chu
Art Center Extension
Brand Experience Design