Los Angeles Endorses New Blueprint for Making City a National Leader in Transportation

Plan Would Cut Pollution and Increase Access to More Transportation Options in Age of Ridesharing and Autonomous Vehicles

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, endorsed by the City of Los Angeles, offers cutting-edge recommendations for tackling the city’s notorious transportation challenges, as technology in the form of rides-on-demand and autonomous vehicles revolutionizes how people move around in cities. The recommendations in the report could be replicated in cities around the country.

“Shared mobility has certainly made its mark in cities -- sometimes for the better, but not always,” said Amanda Eaken, Director of Transportation and Climate with NRDC’s Healthy People and Thriving Communities program. “This policy framework is designed to put the city on a path to cleaner air and better access to transportation for Angelenos of all income levels—setting a model for cities nationwide to follow.”

Los Angeles is already on its way: It now ranks third in the nation for daily public transportation ridership and stands as a national leader on car-sharing, bike-sharing, and environmental sustainability. These recommendations can help the city build on the progress it has made and cement its role as a national leader in sustainable urban transportation.

"The decisions we make today will determine what kind of neighborhoods our kids will live in tomorrow," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who chairs the Council's Transportation Committee and serves on the Metro Board of Directors. "Creating a future where everyone has access to safe and convenient mobility options -- and where innovations like shared mobility can make it easier to live in LA without owning a car -- requires good information and thoughtful consideration of the work that must be done. Thankfully, this report offers the information we need and makes recommendations for how we can approach the work ahead, and I am grateful to the teams at NRDC and LADOT for their hard work."

"Shared mobility has the power to ease congestion and give people choices, so they can spend less time worrying about getting from A to B and focus on the things that matter to them. We are proud to continue partnerships like the one we have with the NRDC to make sure we bring these benefits where they can do the most good," said Los Angeles Department of Transportation General Manager Seleta Reynolds.

Los Angeles Shared-Mobility Climate and Equity Action Plan presents a first-of-its-kind policy framework for how shared mobility—such as bike- and ridesharing services—can better help cities cut climate pollution and increase access to transportation in communities that are historically underserved. The recommendations draw on the most recent research on the impacts of shared mobility, as well as best practices from around the world, and offer a role for city government in shaping this emerging mobility marketplace.

The report takes into account the effects of ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft on congestion and the environment, the need for more infrastructure for electric cars and buses, the rapid development of autonomous vehicles, and embedded transportation structures that have neglected low-income communities.

Its recommendations include:

  • Creating incentives for the use of electric vehicles in ridesharing and other shared mobility options
  • Piloting a congestion pricing zone in the city to manage flow in high-traffic areas and create a sustainable funding source for low-carbon mobility choices
  • Creating a single routing, booking, and payment platform to enable access to all mobility options
  • Developing specifications for gathering data from mobility providers
  • Creating an equity advisory committee on transportation to provide greater input into city decision-making,
  • Reducing or eliminating minimum parking requirements in the city zoning code

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.