The $1.6 million project will provide 100 electric and hybrid cars for residents to use in South LA, Westlake District, Pico Union and Koreatown.
“This is really unique. No city before has devoted this level of resources to expansion of car sharing,” said Sharon Feigon, executive director at Shared Use Mobility Center.
The car-sharing program will allow residents to sign up for an annual membership fee or pay by the hour each time they use the car. The costs are still being determined, but officials say fees will be about half the cost of using Uber or Lyft.
“It’s a very interesting new idea,” said South LA resident Georgina Serrano. “If you think about it, it’s very convenient because you save money.”
The Car Sharing and Mobility Options in Disadvantaged Communities Pilot Project was launched as part of SB 1275 and SB 535, authored by state Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). The legislation pushed for an investment in programs to bring clean air and jobs to communities disproportionately impacted by climate change and poor environmental quality.
The project, which hopes to serve as many as 7,000 residents, will install electric vehicle charging stations and introduce a car-sharing campaign of advanced technology electric vehicles. It’s also part of a larger state effort to cut petroleum use in half by 2030 and deploy 1.5 million electric vehicles by 2025.
The state’s Air Resources Board awarded the funding for the project.
The program begins in November with hopes to expand to other communities in the future.