Program will invest nearly $18 million to bring expanded transportation options to thousands of residents in South Los Angeles
L.A. City Councilmember Curren Price joined the L.A. Department of Transportation (LADOT) on April 26 to launch the revolutionary Universal Basic Mobility Pilot (UBM) in South Los Angeles – one of the largest programs of its kind in the country, increasing access to transportation options for neighbors in Council Districts 8, 9 and 10.
The pilot will bring e-bikes, shared EV cars and on-demand EV shuttle service, in addition to a partnership with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO), to subsidize transit fares for 2,000 pilot area residents who have historically lacked options for how to get to where they need to go safely.
“For my constituents, mobility is essential to survival, an avenue to opportunities,” said Price, who represents CD 9, which includes communities served by the UBM Pilot.
“Without the right transportation, our neighbors 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. Transportation is not only the foundation of healthy communities, it is a human right,” he said.
University Basic Mobility is a concept that believes that robust transportation options are crucial to the advancement of communities. Without mobility people cannot access basic needs such as education, employment, housing, and healthcare.
“Mobility is essential to opportunity. That is what drives LADOT’s commitment to provide Universal Basic Mobility for Angelenos,” said LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds.
“As a city, we must prioritize equal access to dignified, reliable, safe, and affordable transportation that serves residents’ needs regardless of income. This initiative helps empower South L.A. communities and lay the foundation for a concerted, citywide effort to achieve Universal Basic Mobility.”
The UBM Pilot is currently supported by nearly $18 million in state and city funding. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently announced that LADOT would be awarded $6.7 million in additional funding from California Climate Investments (CCI) for its groundbreaking pilot, complementing $7 million in funding the department received from the Board last year. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve $4 million to expand transit subsidies and other program elements.
“This project demonstrates how California is investing in innovative, community-driven mobility solutions that address historic inequities and cut carbon pollution, clean the air and improve the quality of life in communities hardest hit by pollution,” said California Air Resources Board (CARB) Member Hector De La Torre.
Through the pilot’s Mobility Wallets, residents in the pilot area will have access to subsidized Metro transit fares.
“We are privileged to partner with LADOT and other community partners to bring this mobility wallet solution to South L.A. residents,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins.
“This is a first-of-its kind pilot for these residents and it will make it easier for them to get to jobs, run errands, shop and travel throughout our county. This pilot also advances our agency’s own mission to provide high-quality mobility options and positively impact communities with equitable and inclusive solutions.”
LA Trade-Technical College is participating in the pilot through green job training programs for residents of the pilot area.
“Los Angeles Trade-Technical College offers more than 80 exciting career-technical programs that move students into careers,” said Dr. Katrina VanderWoude, president of Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.
“With the support of the Universal Basic Mobility pilot, students in our Electric Vehicle Certificate program will participate in internships with local dealerships and repair facilities where they will gain real-life experience in Electric Vehicle maintenance and repair. Through this pilot, we are also launching our Youth Ambassador Program with a focus on sustainable mobility options. We are grateful for LADOT’s support as we foster career paths for students to become agents of change in their communities.”
LADOT’s grant application to CARB was drafted with the input of a coalition of South LA community groups represented by SLATE-Z.
“At the South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone (SLATE-Z), we know the Universal Basic Mobility Pilot Program is essential to addressing poverty and ensuring South Los Angeles residents are deeply engaged in the decision-making processes that will impact how they get to school, work, and childcare,” said SLATE-Z President/CEO Zahirah Mann.
“Transit provides essential access to life’s opportunities, while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that have led to harmful health and related impacts in the area,” he added.
The Universal Basic Mobility pilot covers a large swath 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.
The Pilot will:
● 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 subsidized 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 & Parks facilities
● Install 2 Direct Current Fast Charger hubs
● Provide workforce training on electric charging stations and electric bikes for 30 Angelenos
● Provide $1 million in funding to complete the Rail to Rail project
● Install safe streets infrastructure
Full program details are available at https://ladot.lacity/org/carbstep.