An example of an electric car via Wikimedia Commons.
An example of an electric car via Wikimedia Commons.

The Los Angeles City Council moved Tuesday to bring an electric car-sharing program to some disadvantaged neighborhoods.

The council authorized a contract with BlueCalifornia to operate the program, which is supported by $1.67 million in grant funds from the California Air Resources Board, a $10 million investment from the company and $1.82 million in support from the city.

BlueCalifornia is a subsidiary of the French company Bollore Group, which has been operating electric car sharing in Paris since 2011 and also launched a car-share program in Indianapolis last year. The company will initially create a 100-car electric fleet and 200 charging stations as part of the contract.

“The overarching goal of this project is to also achieve co-benefit criteria pollutant emission reductions through the introduction of advanced clean car sharing fleets or other mobility options including, but not limited to, advanced technology vanpooling and shuttles into the state’s most disadvantaged communities,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a report about the pilot program addressed to the council.

The program will be located in Westlake, Pico-Union, and neighborhoods north of USC, as well as portions of downtown, Hollywood, and Koreatown.

“These communities are within the top 10 percent of the highest need communities on the California EPA’s CalEnviroScreen index — a tool that was used to identify neighborhoods most impacted by pollution and poverty,” Garcetti wrote. “Major portions of these communities fall in the L.A. Promise Zone, which aims to promote sustainable and livable communities where residents have access to affordable housing and diverse transportation options.”

The Shared-Use Mobility Center, a nonprofit organization that supports the program, said the pilot is expected to recruit a minimum of 7,000 new car- sharing users, who in turn are expected to sell or avoid purchasing 1,000 private vehicles and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 2,150 metric tons of CO2.

“Car sharing 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. “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 fantastic step forward in creating a network of efficient, environmentally sound transportation choices that work for all Angelenos.”

–City News Service 

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