SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced it would award $17 million to fund an innovative new statewide program aimed at making it cleaner, easier, healthier and cheaper for Californians to get from point A to point B.
The new Clean Mobility Options for Disadvantaged Communities (Clean Mobility Options) program will create new opportunities for zero-emission car-sharing and ride-sharing, bike-sharing, and innovative public transit services like demand-responsive transit and mobility service partnerships in disadvantaged communities statewide. The program aims to help communities start their own smaller scale clean mobility programs by providing financial support and helping to coordinate partnerships and additional outside investment.
“California established its commitment to cutting emissions from transportation in 2008 through the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375). Innovative clean mobility efforts, such as smaller-scale car sharing and ridesharing projects and subsidies for ride-hailing services, will ensure that we meet those commitments while also helping all Californians in having many zero-pollution options to get to where they need to go safely, quickly and efficiently,” CARB Executive Officer Richard W. Corey said.
As its first priority, Clean Mobility Options will improve mobility for California communities that face hardships due to income, exposure to air pollution, a lack of affordable transportation or other factors.
CALSTART and Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC) will manage the Clean Mobility Options program in partnership with GRID Alternatives, and the Local Government Commission.
“With this initiative, CARB is leading the way to make clean transportation accessible to more people and create more affordable ways to get around,” said Ryan Schuchard, Policy Director of CALSTART, a national nonprofit consortium focused on growing and accelerating the clean transportation sector.
“The second biggest line item on the average California family’s budget is transportation. Lack of affordable access keeps people unemployed or underemployed and it harms their quality of life. Clean Mobility Options will help to lift up Californians in these circumstances,” said Sharon Feigon, Founder and Executive Director of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, a nonprofit public-interest organization dedicated to creating a multi-modal transportation system that works for all.
“CARB’s leadership on shared mobility equity programs is critical to achieving our mutual vision of a transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone,” said Zach Franklin, Chief Strategy Officer with GRID Alternatives, a nonprofit leader in making renewable energy technology and training accessible to low-income communities. “We are looking forward to pairing this effort with CARB’s One-Stop-Shop Pilot Project to make sure that frontline communities across California have robust access to both personal and shared clean mobility options.”
“Clean vehicles and transportation shouldn’t just be options for some Californians, they should be available to all Californians. We want to help people of all ages, means and abilities get where they need to go and save them time and money,” said Kate Meis with the Local Government Commission, which connects innovative leaders in California and across the nation, advances transformative policies and implements innovative solutions for livable communities.
CARB’s award for Clean Mobility Options is funded by California Climate Investments (CCI) dollars, a statewide program 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. The cap-and-trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.
“Time and again, low-income people of color are hit hardest by the costs of transportation and the toxic smog from cars, trucks, and buses. Not only that, they tend to be locked out of healthy communities with walkable streets, better transit, and other ways to get around. This project will provide affordable mobility options designed to address these problems and fit the needs of these communities. It is a welcomed addition to the fight for a just, fair, and sustainable transportation system in California,” said Alvaro Sanchez of The Greenlining Institute, which last year published the Mobility Equity Framework, a step-by-step guide to building a community-centered transportation planning process that meets the needs of communities of color and low-income neighborhoods.
With Clean Mobility Options, CALSTART will launch a program for Innovative Mobility that aims to expand zero-emission mobility. CALSTART will identify, validate, and expand new pathways for clean mobility in partnership with its members. The program will work with transit agencies and cities to incorporate innovative transit modes such as demand-responsive routing of flexible vehicle fleets and integrate micromobility modes for the first and last mile of a trip.
“Car trips of under a mile cost Americans hundreds of millions of dollars per year and create millions of metric tons of carbon. The average commuter wastes more than 40 hours and nearly a thousand dollars sitting in traffic annually,” said Schuchard, who will launch and oversee CALSTART’s Innovative Mobility program. “We want to give those dollars and hours back to Californians while cleaning up our air and still getting people where they need to go safely and efficiently.”
SUMC’s role in the Clean Mobility Options program is an outgrowth of its Shared+Electric Mobility Initiative, a national effort to cut carbon pollution by supporting cities, mobility companies, and utilities in electrifying new mobility services like carsharing and ridesharing. Through the Initiative, SUMC has worked in partnership with community organizations and the private sector to launch six clean, shared mobility pilot projects in low-income communities across California.
“This is an idea whose time has come,” said Brian Holland, SUMC Program Director. “We’re learning what works and empowering disadvantaged communities to solve their tough transportation challenges.”
“We want to thank CARB for funding this important effort aimed at putting cleaner, healthier and lower-cost transportation options within reach for all Californians. We look forward to working with our partners to help California families cut down on the amount of money they spend on transportation, the amount of time they lose waiting around on congested roadways and we hope to make their everyday lives just a little bit better,” said Bill Van Amburg, Executive Vice President of CALSTART.