A groundbreaking new car share program will help Los Angeles meet its clean air goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and provide residents of some of its most disadvantaged communities with self-service access to electric vehicles.
Mayor Eric Garcetti launched the BlueLA Electric Car Sharing Program today alongside California State Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, the California Air Resources Board, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and representatives from Blue Solutions — a division of the Bolloré Group — which has invested more than $10 million to bring its EV car share program to Los Angeles.
“We have to put sustainability at the center of everything we do in Los Angeles — and putting more drivers in electric vehicles is a good way to clean our air,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The BlueLA EV car share program puts California’s cap-and-trade dollars to work to not only help meet the Paris Climate Agreement goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and advance the EV goals in my Sustainable City pLAn, it brings new transportation options to neighborhoods that need them.”
Today marks the opening of BlueLA’s first demonstration station near the corner of 7th and Bonnie Brae streets in Pico Union. BlueLA — the nation’s largest EV car sharing program for disadvantaged communities — aims to meet Angelenos’ evolving mobility needs in a sustainable way, while bringing more transportation options to low-income communities. The pilot program advances several of the goals outlined in Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn, and will serve portions of Westlake, Pico Union, Koreatown, Echo Park, and Downtown Los Angeles.
“I was proud to author SB 1275, which secured the funding necessary to make programs like this a reality,” said California Senate Leader Kevin de León. “Through the Charge Ahead California Initiative we have expanded access to electric vehicles for all Californians, because if we are going to continue reducing harmful pollutants, electric vehicles can’t just be driven by the wealthy.”
The program is funded in part by a $1.7 million grant through California Climate Investments (CCI), a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health — particularly in disadvantaged communities.
“This smart investment of cap-and-trade proceeds delivers on the promise of California’s approach to fighting climate change,” said California Air Resources Board member Hector De La Torre. “In the city that defined American car culture, this program is helping write a new chapter by bringing electric cars directly into neighborhoods that need them the most, and providing families with needed zero-emission ‘last-mile’ transportation that cuts greenhouse gases and helps fight smog.”
In 2015, Los Angeles won a CCI grant to pilot electric vehicle car sharing in low-income communities. Blue Solutions’ subsidiary, BlueLA Carsharing, is working with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to bring the program online this year. Implementation and outreach efforts are supported by the Shared Use Mobility Center (SUMC) and a committee of local community organizations, including the Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund, T.R.U.S.T. South LA, and Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance.
“Los Angeles has a firm commitment to invest in resilient, sustainable transportation that extends the reach of public transit. These EV cars will make it easier for people to make everyday trips like going to the doctor’s office, running errands, or taking kids to after-school programs. We hope it will improve the neighborhoods it serves and lead to expansion throughout the city,” said Seleta Reynolds, LADOT General Manager.
“Los Angeles, as the United States’ second largest city, is a wonderful showcase for our car sharing service and we aim to support the City’s environmental leadership with a commitment to affordability and equal access, allowing electric mobility to reach underserved communities,” stated Marie Bolloré, General Director of Blue Solutions Electric Mobility. “BlueLA is an exciting new challenge for the Bolloré Group and also an opportunity to demonstrate the reliability of our unique LMP® battery, a pioneering Bolloré technology powering our car sharing vehicles around the world.”
Until the full service is available for public use later in the year, the Pico Union station will be used for community outreach, drive and ride events, and efforts to raise awareness about electric vehicles. Ultimately, the service will bring 100 electric cars and 200 chargers to self-service stations across the city, available to anyone 18 years or older with a valid driver’s license.