Supported by nearly $18m in state and city funding, the project aims to offer subsidised transit fares for 2,000 pilot area residents who have historically lacked options for how to get to where they need to go safely.
The LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) has announced a Universal Basic Mobility pilot programme in South Los Angeles
LADOT is investing nearly $18m of state and city funding to bring expanded transportation options for free or at very low cost to thousands of South LA residents.
Subsidise transit fares
The pilot will bring ebikes, shared EV cars and an on-demand EV shuttle service, in addition to a partnership with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to subsidise transit fares for 2,000 area residents who have historically lacked options for how to get to where they need to go safely.
According to the transportation agency, Universal Basic Mobility (UBM) is a concept that considers ‘robust’ transportation options as essential to opportunity. Without mobility people cannot access basic needs such as education, employment, housing, and healthcare. For example, in Los Angeles today, there are 12 times more jobs accessible in one hour by car than by transit.
“For my constituents, mobility is essential to survival, an avenue to opportunities,” said Curren Price, council member who represents multiple communities served by the pilot.
“As a city, we must prioritise equal access to dignified, reliable, safe, and affordable transportation that serves residents’ needs regardless of income”
“Without the right transportation, our neighbours cannot access basic needs. Accessible, affordable, safe and sustainable transportation should never be considered a privilege. UBM will serve as a vehicle to ensure that no one is left behind while addressing climate change simultaneously.”
He continued: “Transportation is not only the foundation of healthy communities, it is a human right.”
The Universal Basic Mobility pilot covers a large swathe of South Los Angeles, bounded by the 10 Freeway to the north, South Alameda Street to the east, Crenshaw Boulevard to the west, and Florence Avenue to the South. The area was chosen because of the high proportion of households below the poverty line as well as the large share of residents who rely on public transit.
- Deploy 250 e-bikes
- Expand Blue LA EV carshare by an additional 100 cars within the pilot zone
- Provide free, on-demand EV shuttle services
- Provide subsidised Metro and LADOT DASH fares for 2,000 pilot area residents
- Install 16 electric vehicle charging stations at four libraries
- Install 75 electric vehicle charging stations at Rec and Parks facilities
- Install two Direct Current Fast Charger hubs
- Provide workforce training on electric charging stations and electric bikes for 30 Angelenos
- Provide $1m in funding to complete the Rail-to-Rail project
- Install safe streets infrastructure.
“Mobility is essential to opportunity. That is what drives LADOT’s commitment to provide Universal Basic Mobility for Angelenos,” added Seleta Reynolds, general manager of LADOT.
“As a city, we must prioritise equal access to dignified, reliable, safe, and affordable transportation that serves residents’ needs regardless of income. This initiative helps empower South LA communities and lay the foundation for a concerted, citywide effort to achieve Universal Basic Mobility.”
“Transportation is not only the foundation of healthy communities, it is a human right”
The pilot, which the agency claims is one of the largest programmes of its kind in the US, is supported by nearly $18 million of funding. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently announced that LADOT would be awarded $6.7m in additional funding from California Climate Investments (CCI) for its pilot, complementing $7m in funding the department received from the board last year.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve $4m to expand transit subsidies and other programme elements.
Additional project partners include, CicLAvia, Mobility Development Partners, Blink Mobility, the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator and EV Go. Additional City departments include LADWP, Bureau of Street Lighting, LA Public Libraries, Recreation and Parks, and StreetsLA.