File #: 2015-1495   
Type: Budget Status: Passed
File created: 9/18/2015 In control: Executive Management Committee
On agenda: 10/15/2015 Final action: 10/22/2015
Title: EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED (6-0) amending the FY16 Budget to add $2,750,000 to the Communications Department budget to fund the first phase of Metro's Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Education Program.
Sponsors: Board of Directors - Regular Board Meeting
Indexes: Advertising, Budget, Budgeting, Funding plan, Long range planning, Long Range Transportation Plan, Measure R, Measure R Admin Costs (Project), Plan, Program, Project, Quality of life, Transportation Improvement Program
Attachments: 1. LRTP Communications Plan for Board 10.1.15, 2. Education Program Budget Worksheet 9-17-15



OCTOBER 15, 2015











EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED (6-0) amending the FY16 Budget to add $2,750,000 to the Communications Department budget to fund the first phase of Metro’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Education Program.






The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is updating its Long-Range Transportation Plan to include mobility priorities across the county. Accompanying the LRTP will be an expenditure plan for funding the improvements. Educating the public about the plan and the benefits of future mobility improvements is essential.





Metro has been collaborating with the various sub-area councils of governments on multi-modal transportation priorities for the future to enhance mobility and ease congestion. Communicating the county’s overarching transportation strategies and corresponding projects to the public across the region is crucial.


The Metro Communications Team has developed a multi-faceted communications plan to educate the public about the LRTP and the long-term benefits to the region. This education campaign includes broad-based and targeted communication tactics to convey information effectively in the manner that reaches and resonates with the diverse audiences across the region.


To date, Metro has conducted some market research to generate feedback that will help frame the messaging platform and concepts for the education campaign. 


The public education campaign and funding to accomplish this effort will occur in two phases: an initial rollout from November 2015 through Board action on a plan to fund the LRTP, and a subsequent information program if the Board votes to pursue funding opportunities to implement the plan.



There are five overarching goals of the Education Program:

                     To create greater visibility of Metro’s transportation improvement projects and programs

                     To educate the public about Metro’s future plans to transform mobility across the county

                     To engage regional partners and the public in the process to transform transportation

                     To inspire confidence in Metro’s programs, projects, service and leadership

                     To build understanding of the funding necessary to implement future transportation improvements


The education program will be a two-pronged strategic approach: showing the progress the agency is delivering in transportation improvements, with much more still to do.


Two-Pronged Strategic Approach

Much Has Been Done

Over the past several years, Metro has been delivering a variety of mobility improvements across Los Angeles County. It is essential that the public is aware that their tax dollars are transforming the region through these improvements. Metro’s Communications Team has already implemented a campaign called “In the Works” touting the infrastructure improvements spanning the county through public investment. Research shows that the campaign has resonated with the public, so the Communications Team will refresh this campaign and build on this already-effective theme.


There’s Still More To Do

Despite the progress that has been made, more is necessary to position the county for future growth and transportation needs. The Communications Team will overlay the “In the Works” campaign with a new campaign to educate the public about the elements of the LRTP with the mission of moving Metro forward.


The campaign will occur through the functional areas of Metro’s communications program: Marketing, Community Relations, Public Relations, Government Relations, Customer Relations and Customer Programs and Services.


The campaign will roll out through a variety of tactics including but not limited to bus and shelter ads; billboards; print advertising and newspaper inserts; safety education; transportation innovation industry forum; public meetings; telephone town hall meetings; news blogs and articles; newspaper inserts; press events showcasing project progress, milestones and openings; radio spots; community events and festivals; speakers’ bureau; stakeholder briefings; stakeholder messaging kits; cable access programming; educational and community video projects; social media campaigns; website updates and fact sheets.


Messaging Platform

Messaging the LRTP and Expenditure Plan is an ongoing, dynamic process that will evolve into an overarching theme created to reflect the thoughts and perspectives of the public. The Metro Team will continue to evaluate the outcome of public polls and focus groups and feedback from key stakeholders and regional partners to frame the messaging platform that will drive the Education Program.

Quality of Life (QoL) Report

Another key component of educating the public about the benefits of transportation improvements will come through the Quality of Life (QoL) Report. The development of the report is underway in the Planning Department and will be complete in spring 2016. The QoL Report will help educate the public on how the region is benefitting from the investments that have already been made through the current LRTP. This will aide messaging and the communications plan for informing the public during the LRTP Education Program.





Staff requests an amendment to the Communications Department FY2016 budget as follows: $2,500,000 in Cost Center 7140, Project 100055, $200,000 in Cost Center 7160, Project 100055, and $50,000 in Cost Center 7110, Project 100055, for a total amount of $2,750,000.


Impact to Budget

The source of funds for this project is Measure R Admin which is not eligible for Bus and Rail Operations.




The agency can disregard the effort of putting forth a proactive, multi-faceted education program. This is not recommended as it is crucial to start educating the public about the future plans for transportation improvements and the opportunity for the region to invest in transportation transformation for current and future generations. Also, the FY16 Communications Budget currently does not include funding for an overarching communications and marketing campaign.





The Communications Team in collaboration with the Planning Department will fine tune the messaging platform, communications plan and schedule for the Education Program, which will begin in November.





Budget worksheet outlining the costs associated with implementing the education campaign.


Attachment A - LRTP Communications Plan

Attachment B - Education Program Budget Worksheet



Prepared by:                      Pauletta Tonilas, Chief Communications Officer, (213) 922-3777



Reviewed by:                      Phillip A. Washington, Chief Executive Officer, (213)  922-7555