Frequently Asked Questions

women seated and talking at an outdoor waiting area

 

 

General

Please see below the most common questions we receive here at LADOT.

 

How can I submit a service request for a broken traffic signal (signal dark, damaged pole, etc.), or to report a routine maintenance street issue (missing, faded or defaced signs, faded curb paint, etc.)?

Submit service requests by either calling 311 or online using our Service Request page.

How do I report a broken parking meter?

Submit requests by either calling 311 or online using our Report Broken Parking Meter website

I need more information about my citation, appealing my citation, my towed car, reporting an abandoned vehicle, or reporting a parking violation.

Call our 24 Hour Customer Care Hotline at: 1 (866) 561-9742

How do I get more information about requesting, reporting, or concerns regarding temporary no parking signs?

Please call the Special Traffic Control Division at: (213) 485-2298

How do I request a special event permit for activities such as parades, sporting events, concerts, community events, etc.?

There are THREE types of special event permits that you could request:

How do I apply for a blue curb (Accessible Parking Zone)?

Please contact the Department on Disability for more assistance

How do I report a safety issue caused by a malfunctioning, flashing, damaged, dark, knocked down traffic signal, or damaged stop signs causing a safety issue needing urgent traffic officer assistance?

Please call our Traffic Control Communications Center at: (213) 485-4184

How do I report a blocked driveway or other parking violations?

To report parking violations such as a blocked driveway please call our dispatch center at (818) 374-4823. When you call, please have as much of the following information as possible: 

  • License Plate
  • Vehicle Make
  • Vehicle Color
  • Vehicle Location (Zip Code, Street, Block Number, and Cross Street)
Bicycling in LA

How do I report a bike lane maintenance issue?

Check out this helpful guide to your city contacts for various neighborhood services.

To report bike path maintenance requests or concerns, submit a MyLADOT Service Request. (For more details, see our Bikeway Maintenance page).

Other inquiries related to maintenance, pavement conditions, damaged street lights, or similar issues can be reported to MyLA311.

How do I report an obstacle in a bike lane?

Vehicles parked or stalled in a bike lane can be reported to LADOT Parking Enforcement at 213-485-4184. To report debris or objects in on-street bike lanes, submit a MyLADOT service request.

Who manages shared scooters, bikes, and other similar micromobilty?

LADOT oversees permits for shared scooter and bicycle companies and permitted 36,000 shared bikes and scooters in 2019. See here for more info

LA Metro manages the Metro Bike Share system where you can access electric and standard bikes at available bike share stations in Central LA, North Hollywood and the Westside. More information on Metro Bike Share can be found here

Can you come fix my broken sidewalk or repair a pothole?

Find a guide to reporting street issues here.

I want to take my bike on public transit. What's the best way to go about it?

LADOT's Bikes on Buses guide is a helpful starting point. It includes instructions for loading and unloading bikes on LADOT buses.

LA Metro's Bike & Transit guide is a great place to learn about taking your bike on Metro Rail and Metro Buses, as well as guidance for safely biking around transit.

I have an idea for a new bikeway! How can I share?

Ideas and feedback for potential bike or pedestrian improvement projects are welcome. We review project proposals and incorporate feasible suggestions into our work program when possible. Please email ladot.active@lacity.org.

How can I get involved with a project or program?

When’s the next CicLAvia?

Visit the Open Streets program page or CicLAvia’s website to learn about upcoming events in the City of Los Angeles.

BlueLA

What is BlueLA car sharing?

Car sharing is a short-term car rental meant for trips around the city, providing the freedom of vehicle-use without the costs and hassle of owning a personal vehicle. BlueLA is a membership-based subscription service in Los Angeles, offering access to a network of shared electric vehicles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at self-service locations throughout central Los Angeles.

Is insurance included?

Yes! BlueLA provides liability insurance for all members up to the State minimum limit, which will apply secondary to any personal auto insurance maintained by the member. However, if the Bluecar is damaged at the fault of the member, the member will be responsible for damages. Please email contact@bluela.com for more information.

What kind of cars are provided?

The Bluecar is a unique, all-electric compact hatchback designed and manufactured in Europe specifically and exclusively for car sharing. The car gets 90-100 miles to the charge, seats four adults comfortably, and can be rented on-street from any BlueLA station.

How do I start using the service?

  • Sign up: You can sign up for the service online here, or through the BlueLA Mobile app. You can also begin registration in-person with a BlueLA Ambassador if you have all required documents ready. Call the BlueLA Customer Service line to arrange time with a BlueLA Ambassador: 1 (800) 212-1079

  • Activate: You will receive an activation code that allows you to pair your TAP card or BlueLA card at any BlueLA station.

  • Go: Tap your card at a kiosk at any BlueLA station, pick up a car, and start driving! Check out the BlueLA User Guide to familiarize yourself with the process.

What is the battery range of the Bluecar?

The car gets an average of 90-100 miles to the charge, depending on driving behavior and battery demand.

What do I need to sign up?

  • Valid driver’s license*

  • Credit or debit card**

  • Be 18 years of age or older

  • Proof of income eligibility (If signing up for the discounted Community Membership)

*If you are not a US resident and you hold a foreign driver’s license, you must also provide an International Driving Permit issued in your country of residence.

**If you do not have a credit or debit card but would like to use BlueLA, check out what our partner Motiv Fair Finances can do for you!

Where do I pick up and drop off a Bluecar?

All BlueLA rentals begin and end at a BlueLA station. Bluecars can be rented and dropped off by any member at any BlueLA station. All existing and incoming station locations can be found here, or on the mobile app. Each station has one self-service kiosk and 5 parking spots, each with an electric charger. 

How much does it cost to use BlueLA?

BlueLA rates can be found here. Under our annual plans, members pay:

  • $1 or $5 per month (one year commitment)

  • $9 or $12 for first hour, depending on which yearly plan you have

Rental Packages: We offer discounted rate packages for longer trips so that members can lock in a great rate before their trip starts. These packages are only available through the BlueLA app at this time. A one-month trial plan is also available. A minimum charge for 15 minutes and a 9.5% sales tax apply to every rental. That’s it. With BlueLA, there are no hidden fees!

Need More Assistance?

Find more information on FAQs here: bluela.com/faq

LA Express Park™

To view LA Express Park™ FAQs, please click here

Micromobility

Subsidized and cash payment options

Everyone in Los Angeles should benefit from new transportation choices that are safe and convenient. To help achieve this vision, if Providers wish to operate more than 3,000 vehicles, they have the option to increase their fleet size up to 5,000 in disadvantaged communities (DAC) in the San Fernando Valley and/or up to 3,000 in any qualifying disadvantaged community citywide. In addition, LADOT requires Providers to establish payment plans for low-income households, non-smart phone payment and booking options, and cash payment options. To inquire about specific equity plans and local employment opportunities, please contact:

Bird: 951-205-4676
Bolt: 310-210-9799
Clevr: 877-253-8787
CLOUD: 628-252-5683
HOPR: 833-838-8300
JUMP: 415-910-3281
LIME: 888-546-3345
Lyft: 213-604-0186
Sherpa: 818-369-6553 ext. 5
Spin: 617-785-7614
Wheels: 740-651-1718

Rules for Riding

  • Users must be 18 years or older and must have a valid California driver’s license.
  • Users are not required to wear a helmet on e-scooters, but helmet use is strongly recommended.
  • Only one person at a time may ride an e-scooter.
  • E-scooters cannot exceed 15 miles per hour
  • Users can ride on surface streets and are encouraged to ride in bike lanes where available. Under California state law, sidewalk riding is prohibited. 
  • The fine for sidewalk riding is $197.

Where to Park

If riding in Downtown Los Angeles, LADOT has placed conveniently located “Parking Zones.” Users are not required to park scooters in these areas, but are strongly encouraged. Dockless Mobility Providers have Parking Zones locations  on their apps. LADOT hopes to install additional Parking Zones in the coming months. Community members who want to install a Parking Zone in their area may work with their Council Office to identify potential locations. LADOT will review these locations for feasibility.
 
Do not park:

  • In front of driveways, crosswalks, and transit stops
  • Near ADA access ramps
  • Near utilities (such as fire hydrants)
  • Along color curbs (such as Accessible Parking Zones-blue and Loading Zones-yellow)
  • On landscaped areas or grass
  • On sidewalks less than 3 feet wide
  • Leave at least 6 feet of sidewalk space for pedestrians and persons with disabilities

 

Enforcement

LADOT will ensure that Dockless Mobility Providers follow regulations outlined in the one-year permit. LAPD will ticket anyone they find riding an e-scooter on the sidewalk. Any vehicle parked in any one location for more than 5 consecutive days without moving is subject to removal by LA Sanitation. LAPD traffic divisions are responsible for ticketing sidewalk riding. For concerns about sidewalk riding, community members may contact LAPD division captains.


LAPD West Traffic Division:
(213) 473- 0222 or http://lapdonline.org/west_traffic

LAPD Valley Traffic Division:
(818) 644- 8000 or http://lapdonline.org/valley_traffic

LAPD Central Traffic Division:
(213) 833- 3746 or http://lapdonline.org/central_traffic

LAPD South Traffic Division:
(323) 421-2577 or http://lapdonline.org/south_traffic

Report an Abandoned/Broken Vehicle

You can report issues related to shared scooters and bicycles to MyLA311. Providers are responsible for closing out service request information and must share the status of the service request. Providers have 2 hours to respond to a request (7 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and must have a team available 24 hours a day.  Any vehicle that has not been moved after 5 days is subject to impound by the Bureau of Sanitation.

Cost

Each company sets their own prices. Users typically pay to unlock the vehicle plus a fee for every mile or every minute of usage. Please refer to companies’ websites for more information.

Neighborhood Signs

What is the approval process for a neighborhood sign?

In general, approval will require:

  • Concurrence from your City Council member's office
  • LADOT approval consistent with the MUTCD and wind load considerations:
  1. Shape and colors
  2. Location
  3. Size (no more than nine square feet)
  • Installation & maintenance
  1. Funding by a neighborhood group, business association, etc.
  2. Fabrication of the sign(s) to city standards
  3. Installation by a contractor qualified to install signs to city standards
New Requirements for Sustainable Developments

What is the City of Los Angeles Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program?

The TDM Program is an update to the citywide TDM ordinance that delivers on the City’s promise to encourage more sustainable development and transportation options for all Angelenos.

Why is the TDM Ordinance being updated?

An update to the citywide TDM ordinance will improve access to destinations as the City grows by reducing drive alone trips and increasing sustainable travel mode share for new projects. This effort addresses challenges Angelenos face, like congestion, air quality, and difficulty in accessing jobs and services. The TDM Program offers solutions that are good for the environment and good for Angelenos. 

How will the proposed TDM Program work?

The TDM Program will apply to new development projects that exceed a certain threshold based on size and land use. Applicants that are part of the TDM Program will implement TDM strategies from a menu of options to offset a project’s point target, or estimated drive alone trips. The menu includes a variety of travel options that support residents, visitors, and employees in making sustainable travel choices. The selected strategies will be recorded as a condition of approval for proposed projects. Should there be a need for adjustment, projects will have opportunities to alter their TDM Plan over time.

What is the menu of options?

What examples of TDM exist in Los Angeles today?

Citywide, thirteen Specific Plan areas have TDM requirements. A few examples include, the Warner Center Specific Plan, which calls for the formation of a Transportation Management Organization (TMO). Since formation, the TMO has expanded the commute options of 35,000 Warner Center employees, including increased trips by carpool, transit, and bicycling. In 2010, the Century City TMO developed a website that connects employees with trip planning information and tools. By 2012, employees logged 27,400 trips using sustainable modes and recorded a reduction of approximately 218,000 pounds of CO2 and 527,000 vehicles miles traveled. Various similar examples can be found nationwide in cities like Santa Monica, San Francisco, Austin, and Seattle that demonstrate the effectiveness of TDM strategies in improving commutes and quality of life.

What is the proposed ordinance update process? 

Ordinance Update Process graphic

 Where can I find more information? 

Sign up for our mailing list by emailing ladot.tdm@lacity.org and visit the project webpage: http://ladot.lacity.org/businesses/development-review#new-requirements-for-sustainable-developments

If I have additional questions about TDM, who can I contact?

David Somers, LADOT

Phone: 213.972.5966 / Email: david.somers@lacity.org

 

Jonathan Ayon, LA City Planning

Phone: 213.978.1877 / Email: jonathan.ayon@lacity.org

Parking Enforcement

If the parking meter is not working or broken, do I have to pay for parking?

The parking meter is officially broken ONLY if it is not accepting both coins and credit cards, and therefore no payment is required.  If the parking meter is not accepting coin payments, then you must pay with a credit card. If the parking meter is not accepting credit card payments, then you must pay with coins.  If the parking meter can grant time in return for payment for either of these two ways during operating hours, then you must pay the parking meter or park somewhere else. If the meter is not accepting both forms of payment, then you can only park for free up to the posted time limit, which means the vehicle has to be moved (Please see California Vehicle Code Section 22508.5).  Please report broken meters online or call our meter hotline at: (877) 215-3958.

How do I report an Abandoned Vehicle?

You can report an abandoned vehicle Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling (800) 222-6366. If you call after hours, leave a voicemail for a return call the next business day. You also have an option to report Online. You will be required to provide: vehicle location (street address, block #, cross street, zip code), license plate, vehicle make, and vehicle color.

An LADOT traffic officer will respond and if the vehicle is determined to be abandoned it will be processed for enforcement action.

Where and how do I recover my impounded vehicle?

Determine which Official Police Garage has your vehicle. Contact the Official Police Garage for details that may apply to the circumstances and any necessary steps beyond retrieving a vehicle from the Official Police Garage.

Where do I pay my parking citations?

You can pay your parking citation online, via PayTix, by telephone: (866) 561-9742, in-person at a Public Service Center, or by mailing a check payable to “City of Los Angeles”, write citation number on the memo line, and mail to: P.O. Box 30420, Los Angeles, CA. 90030-0968.

My vehicle was booted, what do I do?

Contact the booted vehicle (PayLock) 24-hour helpline at (855) 288-2642 and refer to our fact sheet for detailed information. You can also contact the Parking Violations Bureau at (866) 561-9742 to determine the appropriate steps to follow. If you paid your parking citations at the DMV, please visit a Public Service Center to present an itemized receipt.

Where can I find more FAQs?

How do I report a blocked driveway or other parking violations?

To report parking violations such as a blocked driveway please call our dispatch center at (818) 374-4823. When you call, please have as much of the following information as possible: 

  • License Plate
  • Vehicle Make
  • Vehicle Color
  • Vehicle Location (Zip Code, Street, Block Number, and Cross Street)
Pay Your Parking Meter Online

Why am I unable to pay my smart meter?

The city only has smart meters in Westwood Village and in parts of downtown. Make sure you’re trying to pay a designated smart meter. In some cases, the meter may not have enough battery to support mobile payment. LADOT is working diligently to resolve these issues.

Will the city’s smart meters accept Apple pay?

Not at this time. Our goal is to make parking payment as convenient as possible. We will announce when Apple Pay and other convenient mobile wallet options are available.

Residential Parking Permits

How do I get a parking permit for my neighborhood?

Permit applicants can apply online or visit one of Los Angeles Department of Transportation’s (LADOT) four Public Service Centers to apply in person. Applicants must provide a copy of their current vehicle registration (vehicle must be registered in applicant’s name at an address in the parking district), photo identification, two proofs of residency, and a property tax bill or rental/lease agreement in their name or their most recent utility bill (cable, landline telephone, internet, home/renters insurance, gas, water or electric).

Is it a one-time cost or annual cost?

The primary permits for residents are purchased on an annual basis. Visitor permits are purchased for four month periods. Guest permits may be purchased on a daily basis.

Can anybody qualify for a permit?

Any resident in the district may purchase annual or one-day Guest permits. Visitor permits may only be purchased if signs are posted on the resident’s block.

How long does it take to get a parking permit?

If the resident has all the required documentation, they should be able to open their account and purchase permits in about 30 minutes.

How many parking permits are allowed per household?

Each household may purchase up to three annual permits (each permit must be registered to a specific vehicle), two Visitor permits, and a daily maximum of 25 one-day Guest permits.

What if I have visitors, will they need a parking permit?

If visitors are parking during a period in which restrictions are in place, then a visitor or guest permit is required.

Are individuals with disabled placards excluded from obtaining a permit?

Individuals with disabled parking placards are not subject to PPD restrictions. Other restrictions, such as a red curb or peak hour restrictions, remain in effect.

Do I need a permit for vendors that service my home?

Commercial vehicles parked in a PPD do not require a permit if parked for commercial activities.

In the event of a natural disaster, can a street or neighborhood get temporary parking permits? Is there a cost for  temporary permits if there is  a natural disaster?

Temporary Preferential Parking Districts may be created in the event of a natural disaster. Permits for these districts  cost the same as regular PPD permits. 

Taxis and Vehicles-for-Hire

How many taxicab companies and vehicles are operating in the City of Los Angeles?

There are currently nine franchise taxi operators in the City of Los Angeles who operate more than 2,300 taxis.Before boarding any taxi in the City of Los Angeles, be sure that you look for the official City of Los Angeles Taxicab Seal. Taxicabs bearing this seal are insured, have trained drivers, and are regularly inspected by the City of Los Angeles. Any cab without the seal is a bandit cab with no legal authorization to operate in the City. 

Taxi Contact Info

Why are we reforming the taxi industry?

The transportation and mobility landscape has experienced a major change with the introduction of Transportation Network Companies (i.e. Uber and Lyft), shared bikes, scooters, and dozens of modes that are yet to come. Taxi regulations were implemented far before these new mobility services were even imagined and LADOT needed to update regulations to level the playing field between taxis and these new services. We also needed to update the regulatory structure to better plan for the evolution of transportation modes (i.e. automated vehicles) and major events such as the 2028 Olympics as well as address increased congestion.

How will the reforms impact taxis at the airports? Does the LADOT have any authority when it comes to regulating taxis at airports?

While LADOT does regulate the taxi industry, we do not manage access to or operations at LAX. Taxi and ride-share pick-up and drop-off logistics at the airport are managed by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA/LAX). 

Now that taxis will provide real time data to the LADOT, will there be any privacy concerns for riders? 

Taxis already keep paper logs of their trips. By moving taxis’ trip information to the city’s digital infrastructure, we are automating and updating that system so we can better manage our roadways and curbs, and make sure taxis are serving the public equitably. Our system does not track passengers, only the cars. Keep in mind that Uber and Lyft not only track vehicles, they collect extremely detailed passenger information too. We do not collect taxi passengers’ personal information. 

Will the new regulations loosen the requirements for hiring and training drivers? Could this lead to unsafe situations for residents and passengers? 

Drivers will still have to pass drug and alcohol tests, undergo fingerprinting and background checks, meet medical fitness standards, and undergo a training program. LADOT is maintaining requirements that impact public safety and only relaxing requirements that are unnecessary. LADOT is also moving many of the processes for drivers online.

With no guarantee that franchise/permitting fees won’t go up, how much will the reforms cost taxi companies? How will taxi company owners recoup these costs?

Reforms are necessary to make the taxi industry more competitive and ensure that taxis continue to operate in the future.For the last five years, the taxi market share has been suffering from TNC competition. 

Reforms will allow taxi companies and drivers to be more nimble by givingOperators greater flexibility in managing their business.Reforms will also encourage innovation by structuring regulations in a way that allows the Operator to try new things as long as the LADOT’s goals around safety, equity, accessibility and sustainability are met.

Furthermore, the new system helps level the playing field between taxis and their competitors, making the change worth it. The reforms allow taxis to be part of a universal dispatch system, relax trade dress requirements, expedite onboarding, and provide other enhancements such as TNC-like upfront fare setting. LADOT is creating a model for success by modernizing taxi services in LA and elevating taxis in the eyes of Angelenos..

Will these new regulations be final, or will there be new changes coming at a future time? 

Once this regulatory framework goes into effect, we do anticipate it will stay in place for the foreseeable future. However, LADOT will continue to look for opportunities to improve tactical aspects of for-hire vehicle regulation.

How do I become a taxi driver or Operator:

Contact our Taxi and Vehicle-for-Hire division through (800) 501-0999 for more information regarding how to become a taxi driver or operator. You can also contact other taxi companies for their registration processes here.

Why do taxi rates seem high?

The City of Los Angeles has authority to set taxicab rates.  Those rates are generally set using a combination of consumer price indices (CPI) for various taxi related items such as fuel and vehicle costs, the rates set in other jurisdictions, and other costs. All these costs are taken into consideration to ensure that drivers earn a reasonable wage per trip.

Are taxi drivers fingerprinted and drug tested?

Yes, all drivers permitted by the LADOT are fingerprinted and drug tested.

How do I make a complaint, comment or compliment about a driver or company?

If you want to report a taxi driver, click here

Towed and Booted Vehicles

I have an overdue parking citation/ticket. Will my car get booted or towed away?

If you have five or more delinquent parking citations/tickets, your vehicle is eligible to be booted or towed. You should pay your parking citations/tickets immediately.  To pay your parking citation/ticket, click here.

My vehicle was booted, how can I get the boot off?

Vehicles are booted because they have five or more unpaid overdue parking citations. You must pay all fines and late fees, as well as a $150.00 boot fee, in order to have the boot removed. You must also provide proof that the vehicle has current registration.  Contact the booted vehicle (PayLock) 24-hour helpline at (855) 288-2642 and refer to our fact sheet for detailed information.

I just paid at a Public Service Center. What are my boot removal options?

An officer will automatically be sent to your location within 4 hours during normal release times. You can contact our Help Center for information on releasing hours. If it has past 4 hours from the time you paid during normal releasing hours, please contact our Public Service Center for assistance.

If you have more questions regarding a booted vehicle, visit our Parking Management FAQ webpage.

Transportation Technology

What is Los Angeles’s strategy for managing transportation in the Digital Age?

Published in 2016, Urban Mobility in a Digital Age is LADOT’s Transportation Technology Strategy. This document outlines LADOT’s toolbox to manage and invest in technologies that help us meet the goals presented in the Mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn, The City’s’s Vision Zero plan, and LADOT’s Strategic Plan. This approach also aligns with the mobility frameworks established in the Mobility Plan 2035 , NACTO’s Blueprint for Autonomous Urbanism, and the principles for Transportation Happiness .

The LADOT Technology Action Plan (TAP) outlines how the City’s strategy is executed and is a guiding document which represents how LADOT views the future of transportation and its role within that future. The Technology Action Plan outlines a set of products and services that LADOT deems key to ensure that as new modes of transportation arrive on the ground and in the air, they are safe, equitable, and sustainable. It also signals a different way of doing business, publishing updates on a regular basis and endeavoring to build an ecosystem of public and private sector partners.

What is Active Management?

Active Management describes LADOT’s approach to using real-time digital communications to express mobility policies and regulation and govern the City’s right of way on our streets, sidewalks, curbs, and airspaces. LADOT is using digital tools (including the Mobility Data Specification) that allow us to connect anonymously and directly to vehicles using the right-of-way. Active Management can provide a variety of digital infrastructure services, such as digital parking, digital curb access, digital notifications for street closures, and directed public notifications. Today, LADOT is using Active Management to govern dockless shared scooters, bikes, taxis, and buses in accordance with policies and regulations set by City Council. Tomorrow, the same tools could assist in communicating with autonomous cars, drones, and whatever else the future holds.

What is Mobility Data Specification?

MDS is one of the tools LADOT is using for Active Management, and defines a set of interfaces for the city to deliver digital services. MDS is a data standard and API specification that allows the City to engage in real time with mobility service providers (i.e. scooter, bikeshare, and rideshare companies) to provide a variety of digital infrastructure services, such as digital parking, digital curb access, digital notifications for street closures, and directed public notifications. MDS enables LADOT to actively manage service levels and better understand the implications of new technology deployments on our citizens, helping us create better overall mobility experience.

What is LADOT’s approach to data?

The LADOT earns data through its management of the public right-of-way. Data is earned either by providing digital services through Agency APIs or through the Provider API. In other words, in our role as regulators and mobility managers, we provide services that result in data. We store the data free of any personally identifiable information, and the City’s Information Technology Agency stores it securely along with other sensitive City records. You can also find our Information Handling Guidelines here

Los Angeles also provides robust data sets through the City’s Open Data Portal to enable broad use by the developer community. Further, LADOT uses data to recommend infrastructure investments and guide street designs.

What is a data specification?

A data specification is a standard to ensure a comprehensive and consistent way that different types of data are defined. Defining data the exact same way at different organizations allows for better interoperability when the technologies from each organization need to work together.

Similar to deciding on a common language for a conversation, setting up data specifications makes is easier for LADOT to digitally communicate with multiple Mobility Service Providers.

What is an API?

An application programming interface (API) works as a communication method between different types of technology components (such as between a websites, a desktop, and smartphone). You can also think of an API as a type of digital messenger that allows two applications to talk to each other. In this way, APIs serve as a key channel through which data is communicated.

Why is LADOT building APIs?

APIs make it easier for different software applications to work together, giving the City a better digital tool kit. Many newer types of mobility – from ridesharing to dockless bikes – are managed by connected, dynamic technology located on a mobile app or in the cloud. APIs give the City new ways to communicate with and manage mobility that go beyond our traditional traffic signals, signs, and paint.

Who uses these APIs?

LADOT will be developing and launching Application Program Interfaces for many types of users. This includes Mobility Service Providers and software developers that create tools to help LADOT manage the right of way.

What is GitHub and why is LADOT using it?

GitHub is an open software repository that makes it easy for developers to contribute to our code-based projects, helping to make these tools even better. Taking an open approach also allows LADOT to more easily share tools with other cities and government agencies.

What is Open Source and why is it important?

Open source is a term derived by software programmers that refers to open source code and software. This approach allows for universal access to a tool or product’s design, blueprint or code. LADOT is taking this approach to encourage feedback and innovation where others can improve upon our source code and share the changes within the community. This also allows LADOT to easily share these tools with other cities and government agencies.

How will LADOT’s open source projects be governed?

LADOT will be leveraging governance best practices from other successful open source projects. We are currently in the process of gathering input from our partners and collaborators to develop a best-in-class governance approach that benefits all stakeholders.

Who can contribute to Mobility Data Specification (MDS)?

Anyone with a Github account can comment, introduce new issues, or suggest improvements to the project. If you’re new to GitHub, take a look at their sign up instructions

How will MDS help Los Angeles?

MDS, or more broadly digital infrastructure, gives the City an efficient and cost effective way of managing the right of way for transportation modes enabled by technology. The Sustainable City pLAn, Mobility Plan, and Vision Zero plan envision mobility as a means of overcoming some of the steepest challenges the city faces: preventing climate change, saving lives, correcting socio-economic inequities, easing congestion, and improving public health outcomes. This type of digital management allows the City to provide new mobility options such that they remain an important component to personal mobility without being a danger or nuisance to the communities they serve. In short, elegant use of technology allows us to get to our goals faster, and at scale, than with concrete and asphalt alone. Both digital and analog infrastructure matter. We will need both to succeed.

Why is LA spearheading MDS?

With the ongoing explosion of technology in transportation, LADOT is committed to ensuring that everyone in our city benefits from these new mobility choices. Los Angeles is embracing new technologies and new modes to better serve the needs of everyone. We’re proud to lead the way for 21st Century mobility and are also working to help other cities and government agencies benefit from our innovation.

Where can I learn more about Mobility Data Specification?

You can download the MDS Overview  and also check out the recording and the presentation materials from our Technical MDS Webinar.

How do I access the Mobility Data Specification?

Check out MDS on GitHub. Anyone with a Github account can comment, introduce new issues, or suggest improvements to the project. If you’re new to GitHub, take a look at their sign up instructions.

How can I stay informed about MDS development?

To stay up to date on MDS releases, please subscribe to the MDS-Announce mailing list.

What is the difference between Provider API and Agency API?

The initial development of MDS consists of two key elements: Provider API and Agency APIs. Provider API is a standard for LADOT and Mobility Service Providers to share mobility data on both a real-time and a historical basis. This includes information such as vehicle location, trip durations, and service areas. Agency APIs offer methods for LADOT to provide real-time information such as digital street closures, parking restrictions, and more.

How is LADOT protecting citizen data and citizen privacy?

LADOT considers protecting citizen privacy as one of our highest goals and a core principle of MDS. Our interest is to avoid using data in an opaque and confusing manner. MDS collects vehicle information and LADOT has developed plain language for application users to understand how and why the City collects and uses data. LADOT is working with consumer privacy leaders to appropriately address GDPR and other privacy laws and to ensure an industry-leading approach.

What is Shared Mobility?

Shared mobility – the shared use of a vehicle, bicycle or other mode – is an innovative transportation strategy that enables users to gain short-term access to transportation modes as-needed through use of an app or other method.

What is Dockless Mobility?

Dockless Mobility refers to any shared mode of transportation such as a bike or e-scooter, that does not require a dock (such as a bike rack) to start or end a rental. The dock is replaced by a mobile app and technology on the individual vehicles that both facilitates the user’s rental and unlocks the vehicle for use.

What is the permitting process for Dockless Mobility?

LADOT now has a Dockless On-Demand Personal Mobility Permit Program. Please go here for more details on the Permit Program. LADOT also introduced MDS to serve as digital interface between the City and Mobility Service Providers. A data standard and API specification, MDS enables LADOT to actively manage service levels and better understand the implications of new technology deployments on our citizens, helping us partner with you on better overall mobility experience.

How do I apply for a Dockless Mobility Permit?

How do I work with LADOT on a transportation technology pilot?

If you are a manager of a new type of vehicle that you would like to deploy into the right of way, please contact the LADOT Bureau of Transportation Technology at ladot.innovation@lacity.org

I’m a Government Agency and want to learn more about how I can contribute. Where should I go?

One of LADOT’s key collaborative efforts is the Mobility Data Specification (MDS), an open source project that involves contributions from cities, agencies, and mobility service providers. Contact us at ladot.innovation@lacity.org to learn more about how to contribute to MDS and other ways to collaborate.

As a Government Agency, how can I work with Mobility Service Providers get Mobility Data Specification-compliant data?

LADOT will be developing the key components of MDS in open source to encourage feedback and allow us share these tools with you. We do this by using GitHub, an open software repository that makes the MDS code available to you. This approach allows you to leverage MDS to set up your own set of tools or hire an third party agent to that can provide these tools to you.

What transportation technology projects are underway?

LADOT is testing and implementing a wide range of technology projects to find ways to make new technologies work for all of us. You can also find an overview of projects and initiatives on the Projects page and in LADOT’s Technology Action Plan.

I have an idea for something cool/helpful/interesting. How do I submit it?

We would love to hear about it. Please email us at the Bureau of Transportation Technology at ladot.innovation@lacity.org

I have feedback on a project. How do I submit it?

If your feedback in any way represents an emergency, please contact 911. If your feedback involves removal of an obstacle in the right of way, please contact us at 311. We would love to hear other types of feedback directly. Please email us the Bureau of Transportation Technology at ladot.innovation@lacity.org

I am a Developer and want to learn more about how I can contribute. Where should I go?

LADOT is looking for feedback on the draft versions of our Mobility Data Specification (MDS) and we want your input! Comments can be made by making an Github Issue, while suggested changes can be made using a pull request.

I don’t know how to code but want to contribute. How do I get involved?

Github offers many ways to offer feedback or get involved, but if you prefer other means, we would encourage you to email us at ladot.innovation@lacity.org