Tuesday July 28, 2015
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has launched a social media outreach campaign to encourage Angelenos to walk and bike instead of using their cars this summer in support of its broader marketing campaign on Metro buses, billboards and other media.
The campaign features weekly contests that are being held on Metro’s Active Transportation and Sustainability Planning program’s Twitter and Instagram handle @BikeMetro and will run through the end of August. The contest encourages Angelenos to bicycle and walk for short trips and share their experiences.
“By walking, bicycling or taking public transportation we benefit our own health, the environment and Los Angeles County as a whole. I encourage all Los Angeles County residents to take part in this effort,” said Metro Board Chair and L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Using the hashtags #BikeInstead and #WalkInstead on Twitter or Instagram, users can enter the contest by sharing images that show their favorite bikeable or walkable locations such as coffee shops, restaurants, farmers markets, architecture, gardens and neighborhoods. Contest prizes include fare-loaded weekly and monthly Metro TAP cards, tote bags, collectible mugs and T-shirts and more. Each contest runs for one week starting on Monday and ending on Sunday of each week. The last weekly contest ends on August 30. Official rules can be found at http://www.metro.net/riding/walk-or-bike-instead-contest/.
The broader marketing campaign hopes to encourage Los Angeles residents car trips by biking, walking and public transportation for better well-being, cost savings and decreasing traffic congestion. Californians have made impressive strides in this direction with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) 2014 Household Travel Survey reporting biking, walking and transit trip have increased 23 percent since 2000.
However, there’s still room to improve, particularly with shorter trips. According to the National Complete Streets Coalition, nearly half of all trips in metropolitan areas are three miles or less and 28 percent are one mile or less. 65 percent of these are made by car, even though these distances are easily covered on foot or bicycle.
The social media campaign is a collaboration between Metro and Long Beach-based PedalLove.org. Pedal Love focuses on using storytelling to cultivate more mindful mobility and elevate the voice of women, who are traditionally underrepresented in the population of bicycle riders.
“We are excited for the opportunity to work with PedalLove.org showing how real people use walking and biking in their every lives,” said Julina Salinas, Transportation Manager for Metro’s Active Transportation and Sustainability Planning group. “One of the best ways to increase safety for people walking and biking is to increase the visibility and the number of those walkers and bikers, and Pedal Love is helping us reach our transportation goals by reaching out directly to women and other underrepresented groups.”
Pedal Love’s Twitter handle @PedalLove will also be active as part of the social media contest.
Key to the new social media outreach is a series of images featuring a young couple, Sofia Ramirez Johnson and Ryan Johnson, as they enjoy a summer of biking and walking. The couple lives car-free in L.A. and demonstrates the allure of urban living in L.A. County to millennials interested in a car-free or car-lite lifestyle. Sofia, a native of Mexico, works for the local fashion company, Emerald Sundae, and Ryan, originally from Mississippi, is a transportation planner for Alta Planning + Design in downtown L.A.
“I’ve lived in L.A. for two-and-a-half years without a car,” said Sofia. “The cool thing about living in a big city like this is that not having a car allows us to go everywhere we want and not worry about parking or about anything really. It’s quite liberating.” More information on the couple can be found at http://www.pedallove.org/pedal-love/blog/2015/7/4/meet-our-bikeinstead-walkinstead-models.
Media interested in getting images from the campaign or who wish to connect with the models can contact Melissa Balmer at (562) 221-9672 or Melissa@PedalLove.org.
Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,000 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and it is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County. Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.
Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.net, facebook.com/losangelesmetro, twitter.com/metrolosangeles and twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.
PedalLove.org is the platform for Women on Bikes California, a volunteer based organization focusing on cultivating the power of storytelling to elevate the voice and impact of women for creating more mindful and healthy mobility for everyone.
Women on Bikes California promotes California's blooming biking, walking and healthy transportation culture through this storytelling via creative collaborations with photographers and other artists to create compelling and appealing imagery and photo narratives, audio podcasts, in person trainings, webinars, audio podcasts and mentorships. The organization works to catalyze this culture via proactive social media and traditional media outreach highlighting biking, walking and public transit as tools for optimism for people of all ages, races and backgrounds – but it emphasizes elevating the voice of women.