Cool Design Converts the Car-Addicted

metro pic

I live in Los Angeles and yes, I love my car. Not because it’s a symbol of my status or a prized possession, but because I’d get nowhere without it.

In a city known for traffic jams and empty carpool lanes, you’d think locals would be begging for ways to avoid our cars. Such is not the case.

In fact, we finally have our Metro but it’s a sad fact that not many people ride it”¦or know where to catch it, for that matter. It will take something bigger, something cooler to convince this LALA to leave her CarCar at home.

Is it possible that this bigger and cooler something is simply better design? Could a cool concept do what a plea for better air quality could not?

Michael Lejeune and his creative team definitely think so. Their campaign for the newly expanded Gold Line (running between Pasadena, downtown and East L.A.) began this summer and they’re hoping it will cause a stir.

“Our goal is to make Metro cool. To compete in one of the most media-saturated cities in the country, we’re trying to inject a sense of fun and personality”¦” says Lejeune.

Colorful, graphic t-shirts and “typographically beautiful” weekly passes printed with a different green tip on each are just the tip of Lejeuhe’s iceberg of design ideas. The online Metro Store sells mugs, model buses and even a tie with tiny metro icons.

All this in the name of public transportation? If it will convert the car-addicted to go cold turkey, then I say more please. Because I’m tired of traffic and exhausted by rising gas prices.

What do you think? Can good design have this much influence?

via Fast Company

image via StepInsideDesign

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3 comments

  1. I live in DC where the metro has adopted god-like status (replete with seeing fit to kill a few people here and there) so I can easily see the LA crowd getting hooked on public transpo. It’s so cheap and so efficient and great for the environment. And who wouldn’t want their commute cut by a factor of 3?

  2. I don’t think design in itself will sell SoCal on public transport – but it will certainly help! I was in L.A. recently and learned from friends about the new line that will run right through downtown and near USC – seems like the planning will finally be such that it will get people where they need to go. That, plus comfy and hip interiors give it the best bet for people to open up to the benefits of public transport. Right now – it just doesn’t take anyone where they need to go, so unless it’s a coffee house on wheels, why would anyone use it?

  3. I think it still depends on the preferences of a car owner/driver. Some people simply cannot stand commuting ‘coz of the crowd and some other reasons, so they tend to drive their cars to and from work. But the effort of the Metro is commendable.

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