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Large Airport Looks to Technology to Improve Shuttle Service

In a request for proposals, the operating entity for the airport seeks a contractor capable of wielding technology, data and analysis to enhance and expand its longtime shuttle service.

LAX Control Tower
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The state’s largest airport is seeking to do more with technology as it expands a key transportation component.

In a request for proposals released Aug. 6, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) calls for assistance from vendors on “Operation and Maintenance of LAX Flyaway Service” at Los Angeles International Airport. The procurement is aimed at helping the organization “build off of FlyAway’s legacy” and “harness the power of new technologies and customer service expectations” to reimagine its service. Among the takeaways:

  • LAX’s FlyAway is “a regional shuttle service to the airport that’s managed by LAWA, the governing body for LAX and Van Nuys Airport. Customers include “airport employees, tourists, business travelers and residents on regularly scheduled routes” around the city. Current operator responsibilities include selling tickets, setting and providing “revenue control procedures,” staffing the service, providing vehicles and ensuring customer service and safety. But LAWA is seeking to expand FlyAway and sees “an opportunity to rethink many aspects of service delivery and customer experience,” from “operational capacity to vehicle configurations to flexible service provisions (both upscaling and downscaling the service to accommodate fluctuations in demand),” according to the RFP. LAWA’s goals include reducing dependency on single-occupancy vehicle trips to the airport as well as lessening roadway congestion, greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and vehicle miles.
  • Technology needs permeate the RFP. A key objective is making FlyAway “convenient, intuitive and responsive to fluctuations in travel demand,” and LAWA sees tech as essential to positive customer engagement, “including offerings that provide the customer with reliable schedule information, fares, reservation and payment options, and a responsive platform to collect and respond to customer feedback.” Respondents should be able to deliver “intuitive, accurate customer-facing travel information, booking, and payment options”; and “integrate new technologies, service offerings and financing models to exceed baseline service requirements,” and recommend additional services. Contractors should also be able to provide integrated tech offerings capable of monitoring and managing service performance “in real time” and optimizing “operations and partnerships to reduce operating costs.” Core service requirements, per the RFP, include a customer-centric technology platform to deliver “booking, payment, real-time arrival information and a customer feedback portal”; a back-end data dashboard with dynamic operations updates; collecting and reporting customer insight; and “identifying and implementing service optimization(s).”
  • Generally, LAWA seeks a “multidisciplinary team” with expertise in “transportation operations, technology provision and analytics” and a track record that includes “leveraging technology and data to maximize efficiency and address customer needs.” More specifically, the entity is looking for experience in booking and ticketing that includes “experience with contactless payment and point-of-sale integration, handling of cash and credit cards,” and audit control of collected funds. LAWA also seeks applicants with experience developing “technology applications for transportation services like the FlyAway, leveraging data analytics to dynamically manage service operations, provide real-time information and integrated trip planning options to customers,” and identifying and delivering new service markets.
  • The exact contract value is not stated; the contract term will be five years, anticipated to begin May 1 and run through March 31, 2027. A pre-proposal conference is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday and questions are due by 2 p.m. Aug. 30. Proposals are due by 2 p.m. Nov. 4.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.