LA Metro Launches Universal Pass Pilot Program

What if you could use the same ticket to access a bicycle, scooter, car, train or bus?

LA Metro is rolling out a program that will allow users to do just that in South LA starting next summer. The pilot includes a ‘mobility wallet’, an integration with the TAP (transit access pass) which allows passengers to use the same card to access multiple mobility options in the region.

The pilot – the first to put a ‘universal basic mobility’ (UBM) approach into practice in the city – is being rolled out with the help of the LA Department of Transportation (LA DOT), Uber Transit, FAUCET, BlueLA and Curb mobility.

LA Metro announced the news during a workshop at CoMotion LA Conference on Technology and Transportation. .

The pilot is one of the projects funded through a $ 7 million grant from the California Air Resources Council and will focus on an area roughly bounded by Crenshaw and Alameda and Florence and the 10 in southern LA.

The hope is that providing multimodal transportation through a single portal will increase transportation equity for some of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable populations.

“We know that thanks to our community involvement, our user surveys, sometimes people need more flexible services. Sometimes a bus or train is not close enough to where they live or is not fast enough to get them where they need to go to access opportunities, ”said Avital Shavit, Senior Director of the Office. of Metro’s extraordinary innovation.

Universal basic mobility represents a shift in thinking about transportation – from a convenience to a basic human right.

“Without access to transport, you cannot get a job, keep the job, have access to basic needs for a fundamentally meaningful quality of life,” said Shirin Sadrpour, environmental affairs manager at LA DOT.

Many low-income metro riders are only “unbanked” and “without technology,” Shavit said. The mobility wallet would integrate multiple mobility options – including carpooling, bike sharing, scooters, transit passes and car sharing – into a single payment system on TAP. According to studies, 80% of Metro users have smartphones. The program will purchase smartphones and data plans for the 20% of transit users who do not have them.

“The emphasis is on educating and teaching people and meeting them where they are,” Shavit said.

Metro plans to pilot the program with 2,000 eligible users over the course of a year. At the same time, Metro strives to double registration in its low-cost pass program (LIFE) before resuming tariff collection in 2022. The agency hopes to leverage this awareness-raising effort to reach potential participants in its UBM pilot project.

Public transport has traditionally had a “complex relationship” with private sector companies like Uber and Lyft. But thanks to the UBM pilot project, Metro hopes to be able to build a better public-private partnership model for transport.

The city is already partnering with Uber Transit to provide paratransit services in LA and also offers free “rescue rides” or promo codes for a free ride when LA buses break down.

Curb Mobility offers hardware and software solutions for the taxi and / or VTC industries.

The pilot is expected to launch next summer with a beta testing phase in the spring. Outreach efforts will begin on December 5 at CicLAvia in southern LA

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