3 Ways LA’s Electric Carsharing Pilot is Setting the Urban Sustainability Agenda

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Written by Creighton Randall, the Shared Use Mobility Center's Program and Development Director (Photo is of the Bollore Group's Autolib EV carshare program in Paris—with 4,000 cars!)

The City of Los Angeles made a big step forward for innovative, equitable mobility this week when the LA City Council authorized a contract with operator BlueCalifornia, a subsidiary of Bollorè Group, to run an electric carsharing program in disadvantaged neighborhoods in central Los Angeles. The program is supported by $1.67 million in grant funds from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and $1.82 million in EV infrastructure rebates, fee waivers, and in-kind support from the city.

More importantly, it contains several unique elements – from the myriad of benefits it promises to the wide array of partners it involves – that make the pilot truly the first of its kind in the nation.

A great deal of effort, commitment and hard work will still be needed to ensure the project delivers on its objectives. But we think it’s safe to say that, as other cities across the nation look for ways to expand transportation options for their residents, they would do well to follow LA’s example.

Here are 3 reasons why LA’s EV carshare pilot is helping to set the agenda when it comes to urban sustainability and shared mobility:

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LA City Council Approves Contract for Low-Income EV Carshare Project!

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Today the LA City Council approved a contract with Blue California to operate a low-income EV carshare program in DTLA, Pico Union, Westlake & Koreatown with 100 EVs & 200 charging stations!!! Thank you City of LA!!! Here's a part of the team, which includes the LA Mayor's Office of Sustainability, LADOT, Blue California, the Shared Use Mobility Center, NRDC Urban Solutions, Sierra Club & Move LA! Missing: TRUST South LA, KIWA (Korean Immigrant Workers Alliance) & SALEF (the Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund). Got a happy holiday feeling!


LA City Council Hopefully Considers Low-Income Electric Vehicle Carshare Contract Tuesday

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There was lots of media at the press conference in July 2015 when CA Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon announced that LA had won a $1.67 million grant from the CA Air Resources Board to launch a low-income electric vehicle carsharing program. Fast forward--wait--that's slow forward to Dec. 12, 2016 and the LA City Council's Transportation Committee is only now voting whether to approve the contract. Why does Los Angeles continue to be such a difficult place for carsharing? Here is the letter of support that I wrote to the Transportation Committee. If it's a YES vote the contract will come up for a vote at the City Council Tuesday morning (as in tomorrow). Move LA urges a YES vote Councilmembers Bonin, Koretz, Huizar, Martinez and Ryu!!!



LA County Supervisors Put 1/4 Cent Sales Tax Measure on March Ballot to Fund Homeless Services

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Move LA has been working with LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and advocates for people who are homeless to build support for a permanent source of funding for the LA County Homeless Initiative and the comprehensive plan it outlines. We were very pleased with the turnout Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting, where nearly 100 speakers lined up to ask the Board of Supervisors to put a 1/4-cent sales tax on the ballot that could raise about $355 million a year over its 10-year lifespan to fund supportive services and housing. The board voted unanimously to do so. This is some of the news coverage:

LA TimesDaily NewsSouthern California Public RadioBusinessmagz.comlawestmedia.com.


LA Times: Get Ready for Measure M!

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Great editorial from the LA Times about how Measure M projects may eventually triple the number of transit riders in LA County, and how these projects might also radically change the communities where new rail lines and stations are located—for better and for worse: While some neighborhoods may welcome the investment and real estate boom likely to occur in neighborhoods near transit, others have a legitimate fear that longtime residents will be pushed out. This is a big concern for Metro and for transit riders since low-income Angelenos make up 80% of Metro's ridership . . . (Photo: Renters gather outside the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles to demonstrate against evictions, rent increases, displacement and gentrification on Sept. 22.) READ MORE.


Denny Zane in the LA Times: Fortune—and LA Voters—Favor the Bold

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Los Angeles voters were in an especially giving mood. (Photo: Press at the post-victory Measure M press conference.)

Four major tax measures, clustered near the bottom of the ballot, sailed to victory in Los Angeles on election day, mostly by dizzying margins.

Voters embraced $94 million per year for parks, $1.2 billion to house the city’s homeless, $3.3 billion for community college facilities and a stunning $120 billion to pay for subways, light rail lines and other transit projects over 40 years. Those measures, backers say, will help Los Angeles tackle two of its most intractable problems — traffic and homelessness — and potentially reshape the region.

Read more in the LA Times.


Measure M Is for Our Kids

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I have been excitedly talking about Measure M with friends and family ever since it was announced as the ballot initiative for traffic reduction in LA County. While almost everyone is supportive, a few people have candidly told me that they believe they will never see the benefits of Measure M in their lifetime.

I get what they are saying. Project completion dates like 2029 and beyond seem far away, even for someone in their early thirties.

In reality, however, the "local return" funding that will be provided to all 88 cities in LA County will mean immediate road repairs, and recently announced public-private partnership agreements would accelerate major projects. While this answer addresses their concern, it isn’t the best answer. You see, Measure M is actually about my children because my kids love public transit. 

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A Rally for the History Books

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It was truly a historic event the Friday before Election Day when more than 100 supporters, dozens of organizations, and politicians from across LA County came out to the North Hollywood Metro Station for a pep rally organized by Move LA to support Measure M on the November 8 ballot.

Mayor Eric Garcetti called it the biggest, strongest coalition he'd seen in his political life—including Republicans and Democrats, business leaders and union workers, environmentalists and disabilities activists, faith leaders as well as organizations representing older Americans and people with disabilities.

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#VoteYesOnM Twitter Chat #2: Environment

Los Angeles County has some of the worst air quality in the country, caused by pollution by cars. Measure M will provide a myriad of environmental benefits from greening streets with shade trees and installing cool pavement and solutions to stormwater runoff from roads. Ultimately, though, it will take cars off the road which means we can all breathe a little bit easier. MoveLA and Climate Resolve brought together environmental advocates to talk about the environmental benefits of Measure M and their support for #VoteYesOnM. Check out the Storify below for a recap of our Twitter Chat...which trended at #5 in Los Angeles!

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