Action alert! Let's ask Gov. Newsom for $2.5 billion for transit operations!
California has a massive budget surplus this year—thanks in part to Silicon Valley, the stock market, and the state's progressive income tax—and the $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure bill will provide the state with even more funding.
We believe a significant share of this windfall should become flexible funding for public transit including service and operations, because transit agencies are struggling as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent loss of ridership, farebox revenues, bus drivers and other transit workers—and they're cutting back service as a result. Click the graphic above to join us and our partners in this budget ask.Read more
What is this new national movement for transit justice?
Most of us understand that the U.S. has made inadequate investments in transit and the transit workforce for decades—even the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill has maintained the old 80-20 funding split with the big money going to highways. In the meantime low-income riders and transit workers have been bearing the brunt of fare hikes, service cuts and shutdowns due to COVID.
Will billions in infrastructure funding for highways worsen climate change?
That was the headline in The New York Times earlier this week, and it's a big and very real concern because the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law gives states $273 billion for highways over five years with few strings attached. And, the Times wrote: "there are signs that even states with ambitious climate goals, like Washington, Illinois and Nevada hope to use federal funds to expand roadways..."
What is California is going to do with all that money? And how can we ensure funding will be used to reduce vehicle miles traveled and greenhouse gas emissions? Join us to hear what our panel of experts say:Read more
Join Move LA Feb 16: What does the infrastructure bill mean for SoCal?
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (once known as the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act, or IIJA) is, as you probably know, a very big deal: Much has been written about how it’s the largest-ever 5-year surface transportation reauthorization—and about half the $1.2 trillion package will be spent on transportation. Some of the other investments include providing better access to clean drinking water and high-speed internet, upgrading our power and energy infrastructure, capping oil and gas wells, and much more.
Move LA honors the legacy of Rosa Parks on Transit Equity Day—transit is important for so many people!
Move LA is joining the Labor Network for Sustainability and many others today on Transit Equity Day—and we urge you to join us—in celebrating the courage of Rosa Parks and her legacy. Like many other organizations across the U.S. we are doing this out of concern about transit agency staffing challenges as well as service cuts.
When transit funding is cut, buses and trains don't show up when expected or don't show up at all. That means a lot of families can't get to work or school on time, or honor other commitments. We must remember that public transit is a lifeline for so many people—not only in LA but across the U.S.
Moreover, investing in the transit workforce and expanded transit service provides important alternatives to driving, which is so important now given concerns about climate change. Moreover so many people in LA depend on transit and when bus service is reduced, life becomes so much more difficult.
A new report released today by the Alliance for a Just Society, Labor Network for Sustainability, and the TransitCenter discusses the inadequacy of our investments in public transit and in transit job quality, and the degree to which the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced staffing levels so that public transit can't meet the needs of many riders.
In Los Angeles, for example, the need for public transit workers has already led to 12% temporary cuts to Metro service, and Metro canceled 42% of trips on the heavily trafficked Vermont Rapid Bus during December and January, leaving riders unable to get to where they need to go.
We must remember that millions of people in Los Angeles rely on public transit every day. And if teachers, nurses, grocery store clerks, and other frontline workers can’t get to where they need to be that’s a problem for all of us.
We have to invest in robust public transit and in our public transit workforce if we want to build an economically resilient and racially equitable Los Angeles. We urge our local leaders to use the federal investment from the bipartisan infrastructure bill to address this growing crisis.
Read and share the full report and join Move LA as we recognize #TransitEquityDay!
And the winner is . . . Eli Lipmen and our partners!
Move LA's Eli Lipmen was on a roll this year working at the national, state and local levels, and his work was acknowledged by both the TransitCenter and The Mobility Fund, which decided to help fund this work.
The TransitCenter is a NYC-based foundation that works to improve transit in cities across the U.S., and The Mobility Fund is a project of the Global Philanthropy Partnership and supports community-based advocacy to increase access to and the use of transit and active transportation.
First, Eli worked with the TransitCenter and other advocacy groups across the U.S. to move the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill forward, discussing its importance with dozens of members of Congress. Congress passed and President Biden signed the bill.
Acknowledging this work, the TransitCenter presented Eli with their "Think Globally, Act Locally" award because during the pandemic, they wrote, he'd "been a key voice combining insight and action at the local, state, and federal levels." He was also recognized for his organizing work on the Transit Justice National Campaign and on "local campaigns to ensure that public transit continues to serve riders."
Eli (pictured with his kids riding on the 'E' Line) also won the TransitCenter's "Best Local Campaign" award, along with long-time Move LA partners ACT-LA, Investing in Place and a coalition of more than 20 other LA advocacy groups, after they together won a commitment from LA Metro to restore bus service to pre-pandemic levels.
Service cuts at the beginning of the pandemic meant essential workers were putting up with long waits and unpredictable bus arrival times. When Metro received billions of dollars in funding from the federal CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) and CRRSSA Act (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act), advocacy groups brought so much pressure to bear that the Metro board voted to spend some of its money improving service.
The TransitCenter wrote this was "a testament to the success of years of organizing for better bus service in the region, which led to the ability to mobilize quickly and effectively at the right moment."
Congratulations to our long-time partners ACT-LA and Investing in Place, as their organizing ability was also key to this success.
Unfortunately, once again, there are complaints about long waits and unpredictable service as Metro began collecting fares and Omicron surges, and Move LA is working with advocates and the Metro Board to leverage federal and state resources to prioritize the restoration and expansion of LA Metro bus service. This is where the Mobility Fund's support will be crucial, as well as supporting oversight on the implementation of Metro's Fareless System Initiative.
Move LA will also be working with the South LA Promise Zone (SLATE-Z) to advocate for capital projects that prioritize bus speed and active transportation that benefit low-income riders and communities of color, specifically in South L.A. The top priority for this geographically-based effort is to break ground on Metro's Rail-to-River Project, a 10-mile active transportation pedestrian and bicycle corridor that will connect Southeast and South LA with the Crenshaw 'K' Line, Silver 'J' Line, and Blue 'A' Line.
We are very grateful to these foundations for enabling us and our partners help bus riders during the difficult year of 2021, proving that bus riders and bus advocates can together help ensure a bright future that doesn't require all of us to own cars and contribute to climate change.
When you are on a roll, keep rolling!
MOVE LA HAS ALWAYS BEEN DRAWN to do BIG STUFF (tongue in cheek) that's needed to address our transit, climate and clean air challenges, lack of affordable housing, and the good jobs, jobs and more jobs required by people who need and want to work to support their families.
Move LA began during a challenging time, when LA's "soul-crushing traffic" was on everyone's mind with no solution in sight. Move LA started a campaign to address this challenge by building a coalition to support a ballot measure to fund the build-out of LA County's transit system—which became Measure R—and which voters approved by 67.4% even as the Great Recession loomed before us.
After the recession ebbed, Measure R was followed by Measure M in 2016 and voters said "Yes" again, and together R and M have created a $120 billion program for major investments in a new transit system and services in LA County.
OUR CURRENT WORK
We are eager to keep working on projects on the same scale as Measures R and M—where we were able to start the ball rolling and convince powerful elected officials, unions, environmentalists, other activists, and the voters to join us.
These two ballot measures are expected to bring in $120 billion over four decades, and we couldn’t have done it without your support. Below is a list of what we've been working on this year. We hope it will move you to continue to support our efforts.
EXPANDING TRANSIT AFTER R & M
#1 Big Success: Congress Passes and President Biden Signs the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
This bill will provide $550 billion to improve the nation’s infrastructure. Move LA was an important part of a national network pressing this forward, working with the TransitCenter and others, meeting with dozens of members of Congress and their staff, and coordinating advocates statewide to support increased funding for public transit and active transportation.
#2 Big Success: Metro Adopts the Fareless System Initiative
Metro’s Fareless System Initiative (being implemented this January) was a direct outgrowth of Move LA’s persistence over more than a decade about creating a discounted transit pass program for community college students. The FSI will provide free transit service to all students enrolled in community colleges in LA County and to K-12 students.
#3 Major Progress: Boulevards of Equity and Opportunity and the Important Role of Bus-Only Lanes
Move LA has been encouraging several bus-only and bus-priority lanes on Grand/Olive, Alvarado, La Brea, 5th/6th Street in DTLA, and the North Hollywood to Pasadena Transit Corridor. Move LA has also worked to implement dedicated bike lanes on West Adams from Crenshaw to Fairfax, to connect them to bus/bike lanes in Culver City, and to build the Rail-to-Rail Active Transportation Corridor in South LA that would connect four major transit lines.
#4 Major Progress: A Voter Initiative to Raise Funds to Prevent Homelessness and Develop Affordable Housing
More than a year ago Move LA initiated and has since built a significant coalition including social justice and tenant advocates, affordable housers, and the LA/OC Building Trades to champion a City of LA voter initiative to provide funding to prevent homelessness and develop new affordable housing. The measure was submitted to the Los Angeles City Clerk's office mid-December where a legal petition will be created and a signature drive will follow. This measure will raise over $800 million/year for the City of Los Angeles to prevent and reduce homelessness and build more than 26,000 affordable apartments every decade.
#5 Ongoing Progress: Boulevards of Equity and Opportunity
If Los Angeles has always been a place where you need a car to get around, the Measure R and M era is different: it’s about providing access via transit to opportunity, affordable housing, education and jobs. We have championed building mixed-use, mixed-income housing along safe, transit-served boulevards, in neighborhoods where people can drive less and walk or bike more. SB 961 (Allen) was our first legislative victory on this path, but won’t be our last. Check out SB 563 (Allen).
#6 Ongoing Progress: A Redevelopment-Style Framework to Build Affordable Housing Near Transit
Move LA has been working with Senator Ben Allen to develop legislation to create a city-county collaboration to build affordable housing, first-last-mile infrastructure, and urban greening programs near transit in a redevelopment-style tax-increment financing framework.
CLIMATE AND CLEAN AIR
#7 Ongoing Progress: A Potential Statewide Ballot Measure to Fight Climate Change
For two years Move LA worked to identify coalition partners statewide and is now partnering with them to develop a statewide ballot measure to fight climate change in the November 2022 elections. The outcome of that process has been remarkable. Two versions of such a measure has been submitted to the California Secretary of State. One version would raise about $4 billion/year and more than $100 billion over 20 years to ensure that zero emission vehicles are the new normal in California in all categories—cars, trucks, trains, ships, planes and off-road equipment—and to prevent wildfires in California’s forests.
#8 Ongoing Progress: Hydrogen roundtables with the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council
Move LA has been co-convening a series of virtual roundtables on climate strategies with the AFL-CIO Working for America Institute and the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council and affiliates. The goal is to identify climate strategies that can yield good-paying jobs for our unionized workforce with special attention to the opportunities offered by the development of hydrogen infrastructure.
#9 Big Success: Seven “Zoomposiums” on the Fight Against Climate Change and for Clean Air
We conducted no less than seven of these conversations on Zoom, often with audiences of several hundred people, to talk with leaders and experts about topics ranging from short-lived climate pollutants and deadly diesel to battery electric and hydrogen solutions to other climate-friendly means of travel and emerging technologies for planes, trains, buses and ships.
We believe that we are working on issues that matter not only for Los Angeles and LA County, but for California and the world. Donate and you will be working with us! See you in the new year!
Denny Zane for Move LA
United to House LA: A voter initiative to address LA's housing & homelessness crises!
VICTORY! Bipartisan infrastructure deal will deliver massive investments in public transit!
Register now for our 12/10/21 party to celebrate the big stuff!
We are drawn to do the BIG STUFF needed to address our transit, climate and clean air challenges, lack of affordable housing, and the need for more and more good jobs so people can support their families. We want to keep working on projects that are the scale of Measures R and M—when we were able to start the ball rolling and then convince powerful elected officials, unions, environmentalists and the voters to join us in support of 2 ballot measures providing $120 billion to build out LA County's transit system over 4 decades.