Two nonprofits in El Monte and Pomona are recipients of $50,00 grants for community transportation needs assessments in those communities.
A total of 24 California nonprofits, local governments, transit agencies and Native American tribes in under-resourced communities were awarded up to $50,000 each by the Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program to conduct assessments that will help them to identify — and eventually address — transportation challenges.
The two grant recipients in the Southland are ActiveSGV, a project of Community Partners, which will assess transportation needs in El Monte and South El Monte, and CHERP-Locally Grown Power, a project of the Community Home Energy Retrofit Project licensed to produce solar panels in a nonprofit assembly factory in Pomona.
“Across California, and especially in low-income communities and communities of color, people spend too much time and money getting from home to work, or just to do daily errands,” said Steve Cliff, deputy executive officer of the California Air Resources Board. “The Clean Mobility Options Program elevates the role communities play, and allows them to lead the way in addressing their particular transportation issues — and ultimately finding solutions that work for them.”
The total amount of funds awarded for Community Transportation Needs Assessments is $1.15 million: $1 million was awarded to eligible disadvantaged communities, with $150,000 set aside and awarded specifically to Native American tribes.
CMO is a statewide initiative that provides funding for zero-emission shared mobility options to underserved communities. It is funded by California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that uses cap-and-trade funding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Recipients submitted applications for projects in collaboration with residents. The assessments include analysis and engagement of the community through tools like surveys and virtual community events.
According to a statement from the CMO, clean mobility options for underserved communities will save residents money and improve public health. The poorest 20% of Americans spend more than 40% of their income on transportation, while those who make more than $70,000 per year only spend 13%, the agency said.
Additionally, the CMO found 90% of Californians experience unhealthy air, but unequal exposure leads to drastically varied life expectancies that can swing by as much as 20 years between different ZIP codes. People of color disproportionately breathe toxic pollution, contributing to higher rates of asthma, cancer, and other illnesses than their white counterparts, the group said.
The program also supports shared clean mobility projects through Mobility Project Vouchers worth up to $1 million each. Of the total $21 million available for Clean Mobility Projects and Community Transportation Needs Assessments, up to $2.15 million is set aside specifically for tribes.
Mobility Project Vouchers are intended to fund bikesharing and scooter-sharing, zero-emission carsharing, carpooling and vanpooling, transit services and ride-on-demand services.