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Los Angeles demonstrates shared mobility delivers on climate change & transportation inequity goals

Los Angeles, CA, USA

At a Glance

To reach climate and equity goals outlined in the Sustainable City pLAn, Los Angeles worked with transportation experts to map out seven strategies which ensure that new mobility modes advance goals to improve equity, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, increase mobility options, and reduce congestion.

Problem Addressed

Along with its reputation for the entertainment industry, world-class universities, and beloved sports teams, Los Angeles is also well known for its traffic. With a population of 3.9 million people, Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the United States and in 2016, had the worst traffic in the country. Though the average driver spent 104 hours per year in traffic, 47% of trips taken were less than 3 miles long, indicating that alternative mobility options could easily replace trips by private vehicles. 13.5% of Los Angeles households lack car access, particularly low-income residents, representing historically underserved populations. Expanding mobility options can address transportation inequity and support increased access to economic and social opportunities.

Climate change is another growing concern for the LA area. As sea-level rises and extreme heat increases, mitigation and adaptation initiatives are increasing priorities for the City. The transportation sector is responsible for 34% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions and 90% of local air pollution, making low-carbon transportation a critical transformation. LA’s Sustainable City pLAn establishes major climate goals including: 1) reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2025, 60 percent by 2035, and 80 percent by 2050, 2) reducing daily vehicle miles traveled per capita by 5 percent by 2025 and 10 percent by 2035, and 3) increasing shared transportation trips to 5 percent and trips taken by walking, biking, and public transit to 50 percent by 2035.

With the City's priorities and community challenges in mind, it was critical to create a strategic plan to advance sustainability, transportation, and equity goals.

The City of Los Angeles used/is using the Shared-Mobility Climate and Equity Action Plan to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

Nutter Consulting, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), created a strategic plan to help the Los Angeles Department of Transportation ensure that new mobility services - rideshare, bikeshare and carshare - support and do not hinder the city’s climate and equity goals.

To create this strategic plan Nutter Consulting coordinated a shared mobility advisory group of over 40 transportation experts and Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) leaders with both shared-mobility and traditional transportation backgrounds. With insight from these groups, the final plan reflected a dual focus of sustainability and equity. Nutter Consulting's recommendations created a vision for shared mobility to address existing gaps in transportation access and financial feasibility.

The final plan outlines seven strategic areas for Los Angeles to improve mobility options, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce congestion. The plan outlines why public transportation is the core mode in cities and describes how shared mobility can and does supplement a functional, funded transportation system. By deploying these clean, shared mobility solutions, the city can also address equity, increasing mobility options for underserved communities, lowering the price of transportation, and reducing air pollution.

This is why the first strategy proposed in the plan is to “embed equity outcomes.” By prioritizing this objective, the team emphasized the importance of this goal through the entirety of the strategic plan. Other proposed strategies such as, "reinforce transportation priorities in street design" and "electrify vehicles and infrastructure" contribute to the plan's overall goals of ensuring the most equitable approach to shared mobility.

Through informed and strategic deployment of these services, Los Angeles can leverage shared mobility services for a better transportation environment.

Outcomes

  1. Provided a strategic plan with 7 guiding strategies, 21 recommended actions, and 47 initiatives to achieve climate and equity goals
  2. Engaged a Shared Mobility Advisory Group of over 40 transportation experts and LADOT leaders to ensure goals were both sustainable and achievable
  3. Analyzed 12 local and regional plans to align goals and priorities related to transportation, sustainability, and equity
  4. Identified 12 case studies and best practices related to recommended actions, including carsharing and bikesharing

Who Should Consider?

Medium to large-sized cities struggling with congestion, high transportation emissions, and mobility equity issues

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