The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) has a vision that in Los Angeles, all people have access to safe and affordable transportation choices that treat everyone with dignity and support an equitable, thriving city. LADOT seeks to eliminate the functional and/or structural immobility people experience due to racism and other systemic marginalization, cost burdens, and other forms of exclusion by adopting a Universal Basic Mobility (UBM) approach to transportation. When people’s right to movement is restricted, their personal health and wellbeing, productivity and belonging, and happiness are negatively affected.
LADOT aims to progress towards UBM by prioritizing distinct programs and projects.The Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP) offers an unprecedented opportunity to put this work into motion in South Los Angeles - delivering tangible and measurable results that will disrupt institutions and systems that breed inequity.
LADOT is committed to fighting climate change and pursuing climate equity in underserved neighborhoods on the front lines of the climate crisis. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) launched the Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP) in 2019 to help communities reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase access to clean transportation and address community transportation needs through transportation and land use projects in climate burdened neighborhoods. STEP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.
LADOT has launched a “Universal Basic Mobility” (UBM) Pilot using $13,843,298 in STEP grant funding from the State of California Climate Investment Program. The City of Los Angeles has also approved an additional $4 million in funding to enhance the pilot program for a total of $17.8 million. LADOT’s UBM pilot will integrate access across existing and new transportation options, introduce new shared mobility options for residents and workers, expand and integrate fare payment subsidies, provide green jobs training, and expand electrification to advance Universal Basic Mobility for South LA residents.
The UBM Pilot Area covers much of South Los Angeles, bounded approximately by the 10 East Freeway to the north, South Alameda Street to the east, Crenshaw Boulevard to the west and Florence Avenue to the South. This South LA neighborhood was chosen for the UBM pilot because:
- It is home to a population of over 370,000 with 29% percent of households below the poverty level and 19% receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- All of the project area qualifies as either an SB 535 Disadvantaged Community or an AB 1550 Low-Income Community; the vast majority of the area qualifies under both.
- The majority of residents are people of color with two-thirds Hispanic and a quarter African-American.
- Over 6% of households reported owning no vehicle and 30% own one vehicle. 6.7% of workers in the area walk or bike to work and 14.3% take transit to work.
The following sections provide more detail on the project elements and partners that are a part of the South LA UBM program:
A. Mobility Wallet
LA Metro is pursuing two unique parallel technology development paths including 1) Pay with TAP and 2) payment card (like Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal) to bring the wallet to life. It consists of both analog and digital components to provide a seamless transportation pass for low-income, student, senior, and disabled riders in the STEP Community. The mobility pass will pilot transit and shared mobility credits for approximately 2,000 subscribers in addition to a 3,000 person control group of pre-enrolled LIFE and Go-Pass participants for one year. Subscribers may utilize their monthly Mobility Wallet subsidies that will also include access to multimodal and electric mobility services. LADOT will work with community-based organizations in the area to identify eligible participants in the pilot.
B. Electric Mobility
There are three components that fall under STEP electric mobility:
- E-bike library: The LA CleanTech Incubator (LACI) will procure a free/ low cost electric bicycle library to provide South LA residents with access to e-bikes for extended check-out times, including e-bikes for people with disabilities and cargo bikes.
- On-demand community shuttle: LADOT will pilot an on-demand community electric shuttle to fill in gaps in Downtown Area Short Hop (DASH) service to eliminate the need for transfers.
- Electric vehicle (EV) car share expansion: The successful BlueLA program provides an environmentally conscious alternative to ride sharing for disadvantaged communities. BlueLA will be expanded into South Los Angeles, bringing at least 100 vehicles to the STEP neighborhood.
C. Charging for All
A network of public Level 2 (L2) electric vehicle (EV) chargers will be installed throughout the STEP project area, including up to 100 chargers at LA Public Libraries, Recreation and Park facilities, and on street lights. Two Direct Current Fast Charger (DCFC) Plaza hubs with 4 high speed EV charge ports each will be installed by EVGo. Additionally, the BlueLA electric vehicle sharing program will expand to include publicly accessible on-street locations throughout the project area.
D. Quick-build Active Streets
LADOT will engage with the STEP neighborhood through pop-up demonstrations, temporary installations like fresh planters or curb paint, community-design exercises and other methods to implement street safety elements to envision spaces that are safe and accessible to all users, including for active transportation. In addition, the recently awarded INFRA grant from the US Department of Transportation will bring $18 million in new active transportation infrastructure to South LA in the project area, and is closely aligned with this project’s efforts.
E. Rail-to-Rail First Mile-Last Mile
The future Rail-to-Rail Active Transportation Corridor and the Crenshaw/LAX Fairview Heights Station will provide important future connections. This first mile / last mile project will facilitate a safe and comfortable pedestrian and bicyclist experience with enhancements like wayfinding, improved signage, striping and other improvements within a one-half mile gap between the County’s first rails to trails project.
F. Community Outreach
In partnership with South Los Angeles Transit Zone (Slate-Z) , CicLAvia, Los Angeles Trade Technical College (LATTC), and Mobility Development, community-based organizations will serve an advisory role to provide input into important decisions like charger/e-bike station siting, pilot participants and design. A Resident Advisory Committee (RAC) will be established to assist with team canvassing, pop-up events and information sessions. An important aspect of this project will be green job training for youth, community based organization constituents and RAC members.
CicLAvia will facilitate three open street events in the STEP area to provide a platform for direct community outreach. Open street events will temporarily close streets to vehicular traffic and provide an opportunity for community members to walk, bike, skate, dance and play in the streets.
G. Workforce Development
LATTC and LACI will provide targeted workforce training to prepare community members for employment in Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), including e-bike and EV maintenance. LACI will conduct training for EV technicians and interns recruited from LATTC and other local schools. Participants will receive training in technical areas and interpersonal skills, and industry-recognized certifications to succeed in the green economy.
H. Zero Emission Delivery
This component will fund a selection of vehicle types (which may include NEVs, electric vans, or other electric delivery services and e-cargo bikes) based on community-identified needs. More details to be confirmed subject to community outreach and input.
On June 4, 2022, members of the Universal Basic Mobility (UBM) team - including representatives from the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) and the LADOT team - attended a celebration for completing the design for the Western Our Way: Walk & Wheel Improvements at Harvard Park in South LA. This event celebrated kicking off a transformative project for Western Ave to improve traffic safety and connectivity for everyone who uses the street. Residents and visitors passed by the UBM booth and registered to get more information on future program elements including borrowing e-bikes, LACI's upcoming electric vehicle infrastructure training program, and the mobility wallet free transit program. If you haven't already, head to https://ladot.lacity.org/ubm#connected to sign up for updates!
LADOT joined Councilmember Curren Price, Jr. and program partners such as Slate-Z at LA Trade-Technical College (LATTC) to formally launch the Universal Basic Mobility Pilot for South LA. The event featured examples of services and vehicles that will be deployed as part of the pilot as well as speeches from members of the Resident Advisory Committee which is comprised of South LA residents who will shape the ultimate implementation of the pilot program.
A special thank you to all the partners who will make this program possible including 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.
LADOT's UBM pilot will provide a combination of policies, funding, and partnerships to provide residents of South Los Angeles with a basic level of access to mobility.
One key element of the UBM pilot is green jobs training. The first group of trainees recently completed an electric mobility repair course at the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator which empowers participants for employment opportunities in green jobs! We look forward to training more Angelenos in the months ahead!
The December South LA CicLAvia event was a great time, as you can see in these photos. We hope to see you at the next one. Check back soon for upcoming events!
Different elements of the Universal Basic Mobility (UBM) pilot program will roll out from now until the end of 2025. And it's so easy to stay informed! Please fill in the form below to receive program updates and notifications when application periods begin, including when the application for the mobility wallet is open.
If you have any other questions or comments about LADOT's UBM pilot program, email us at email@example.com.
First micromobility maintenance training of 2022 is a wrap!
On April 1st, new graduates of the 2022 LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI) micromobility maintenance training boot camp got to show off their new skills. Now that they have their certificates for repairing and maintaining micromobility vehicles like electric bikes and scooters, they've taken the first step towards landing a new, green job. This important component of LADOT’s Universal Basic Mobility (UBM) pilot - funded by the CARB STEP CCI program - provides green jobs training, internships and career coaching for residents of South LA and beyond. For more information go to https://ladot.lacity.org/carbstep or https://laincubator.org/workforce-development/.