Remaking L.A. With A Groundbreaking New Idea For Public Transportation
How do you get Angelenos—some of the most car-focused people in the world—to use mass transit?
The challenge came from a consortium of L.A. design and transit types (namely Southern California Institute of Architecture [SCI-Arc], The Architect’s Newspaper and LA Metro in an open invitation for ideas that would increase public transportation use in L.A.’s car-centric landscape. In that “landscape,” each auto produces an average of 1.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per mile per person, which compares unfavorably with public transit. Mass transit riders produce on average just 0.18 pounds of carbon dioxide per mile per person.
As architects who also teach, we were intensely interested in the possibilities inherent in this challenge, which was initially waged several years ago. The interplay of design and psychology (not to mention a multitude of preconceptions) that any legitimate answer would have to address fascinated us.
In lieu of a physical solution—which might have been expected from us as architects and included a better bus stop, higher capacity buses, even better advertising—we offered a virtual solution; we devised a more responsive, more personalized mass transit system whose essence is the growing data cache that municipalities, transit authorities, and cellular network providers have at their disposal….
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WRITTEN BY: Li Wen and Shawn Gehle