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LA Metro Launches Accelerator Forum Series with “Think You Can Solve Traffic?” Challenge to Innovators

Wednesday November 14, 2018

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) has announced a series of forums designed to harness the ingenuity of private sector innovators and entrepreneurs to solve some of L.A. County’s most pressing transportation challenges and to help transform its transportation network.

The Metro Accelerator Forum Series will kick-off December 4 with the challenge topic: “Think You Can Solve Traffic?” This forum will include panel discussions on using incentives and/or fees to get more people to consider alternatives to driving or to avoid driving during peak periods. Among the topics will be how to use congestion pricing (tolled highway facilities) as one possible way to ease L.A.’s infamous traffic congestion.

“LA’s rush hour traffic is a unique problem that requires unique solutions,” said L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair Sheila Kuehl. “We want to tap private sector brain power and ingenuity to encourage innovative thinking outside the box.”

The forum will be accompanied by a call for solutions from across private-sector industries and disciplines – technologists, startups, inventors, scientists, urbanists and transportation wonks, to name a few.

Solutions for the challenge topic “Think You Can Solve Traffic?” should be submitted for review by January 31, 2019 to be included in this review round. Go to for more information, to RSVP for the event or to submit a solution.

All submittals will be reviewed by Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation and an internal panel of Metro experts as part of Metro’s Unsolicited Proposal program. Proposers may be invited to present to Metro executives and external experts by Spring 2019 and may have opportunities to advance toward a proof of concept, formal procurement or other next steps.

Metro created its Unsolicited Proposals program in 2016 to propel innovation through the promotion of private-public partnerships and other private-sector engagement that would not have been possible through the normal procurement process. More than 110 proposals have already been submitted and 18 are undergoing rigorous examination in a Phase 2 analysis, including a proposed privately funded aerial tram from Union Station to Dodgers Stadium.

The Metro Accelerator Forum Series aligns with Metro’s Vision 2028 Plan, a 10-year plan intended to harness the creativity, resources and political will to shape the region’s future mobility and unleash its economic and social benefits.

“We are positioning L.A. County to be The Transportation Center of Excellence by actively seeking solutions outside of traditional channels,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “This series will expand our ability to receive and incorporate new and innovative ideas in a timely manner to tackle some of our most pressing issues.”

The “Think You Can Solve Traffic?” forum will take place from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., December 4, at Union Station’s Historic Ticketing Hall. Over the next 18 months, other forums plan to tackle topics like improving customer experience, reliability, safety and security. Attendance to the forums is not required to submit solutions.

About Metro

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is unique among the nation’s transportation agencies. Created in 1993, Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that transports about 1.3 million passengers daily on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines. The agency also oversees bus, rail, highway and other mobility-related building projects and leads transportation planning and programming for Los Angeles County.

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