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Designing an Equitable, Sustainable Transportation Option for Airport Employees

Case Study

Over 3,000 Inglewood, CA residents work at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Few options existed for getting to work, though, and many Inglewood residents had to resign themselves to driving to off-airport paid parking facilities.

Iride Inglewood (Inglewood, CA)
Ongoing Project
April 2021 – Present

To support these commuters, UrbanTrans partnered with the City of Inglewood to design, develop, and deliver an innovative service that addresses complex issues surrounding equity, workforce development, and essential workers. Our team used primary market research, geospatial analysis, service design, technology needs assessments, and comprehensive marketing services to help the city launch a successful, dynamic microtransit service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The micro-transit service, Iride Inglewood, offers a safe, reliable, and on-demand ride to work in dedicated vans. As a bonus, it helps Inglewood accumulate data-rich metrics on commute travel to inform local, regional, and statewide goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled. Most importantly, though, it has immediately and dramatically improved the commute experience and riders’ quality of life while reducing costs for a historically underserved TDM target audience.

Since the service’s launch in April 2021, UrbanTrans has used innovative marketing tactics to gain riders during the extremely complicated COVID-19 pandemic. To start, we helped riders feel safe using the service by implementing improvements to the vehicle experience, such as “no-touch” automatic door openers, onboard policies based on CDC guidance, vehicle ventilation enhancements, and other pandemic-related efforts.

Additionally, to make the service more user-friendly, we developed an automated process for critical steps in Iride’s service delivery—from downloading the Iride mobile app and authenticating a new account to booking the first few trips. 

To build demand for the service among 3,000 potential riders, UrbanTrans designed a marketing plan tailored to the target audience’s demographics, workforce attributes, and values. The subsequent marketing paired high-visibility tactics like large-scale billboard and transit advertising and mailers in the Inglewood residential neighborhoods with more targeted promotional avenues, including airport employer outreach, SMS marketing, and paid social media advertisements. The outreach also included bilingual promotional assets, customer service, and messaging.

These efforts have netted positive results:
0 +
registered riders
1 %
reduction in average commute times from Inglewood to LAX (from 64 minutes to 18 minutes)
0 K+
rides completed to LAX and back, with a high success rate for on-time arrivals

During the program’s pilot demonstration period (April 2021 to December 2021), the service successfully decreased average commute times from 64 minutes to 18 minutes, delivered on-time performance over 98% of the time, and achieved an average of 4.8 stars out of 5 stars in passenger satisfaction.

The pilot’s success has led the city of Inglewood and Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) to agree to adopt the program for the long- term.