The Los Angeles City Council today authorized a contract with BlueCalifornia, a subsidiary of French company Bollorè Group, to operate an electric carsharing pilot program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by introducing electric carsharing fleets into disadvantaged neighborhoods in Central LA.

“Carsharing and shared mobility can help expand access to transportation, opportunity and a better quality of life for residents while mitigating traffic congestion and harmful vehicle emissions,” said Sharon Feigon, executive director of the Shared-Use Mobility Center, a national nonprofit organization working to extend the public benefits of shared mobility.

“Following the recent passage of Measure M, the launch of Metro Bike Share, and other important developments outlined in SUMC’s Shared Mobility Action Plan for Los Angeles County, this project represents another step forward in creating a network of efficient, environmentally sound transportation choices that work for all Angelenos,” she said.

“SUMC is honored to have been a partner in the design of this program, and we look forward to now working with Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, BlueCalifornia and the project’s many stakeholders in the years ahead to make it a success,” said Feigon.

The first-of-its-kind project is supported by $1.67 million in grant funds from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and $1.82 million in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure rebates, fee waivers and in-kind support from the City. Bollorè Group – which has been operating electric carsharing in Paris since 2011 and launched the BlueIndy EV carshare program in Indianapolis, Indiana last year – will initially invest at least $10 million in a 100-car electric fleet and 200 charging stations.

Altogether, the pilot is expected to recruit a minimum of 7,000 new carsharing users, who in turn are expected to sell or avoid purchasing 1,000 private vehicles, reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 2,150 metric tons of CO2.

To help ensure the project is relevant and accessible to residents from a wide range of backgrounds, the program is also being led by a steering committee of community organizations – including the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, TRUST South LA, and the Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund – that are helping to oversee program design and outreach efforts. SUMC will continue to work with this steering committee as well as provide technical assistance, evaluation, and planning to support the program’s growth in the years ahead.

The project also lays groundwork to help further change the transportation landscape in Los Angeles through the construction of curbside carsharing stations that will function as an electric vehicle “commons” that, like bus stops and bike lines, optimizes public right-of-way for collective rather than individual use. Establishing this network is a key part of the City’s Sustainability pLAn and represents another step toward the goal of taking 100,000 cars off the road in the region as envisioned in SUMC’s Shared Mobility Action Plan for Los Angeles County, which was released earlier this year.

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