Vancouver, Canada, January 22, 2019 – Los Angeles remains a car-dependent city – with twice the percentage of commuters using a car to get to work as in San Francisco – but is also a leading North American centre in the range of shared mobility services available. This nets out to a number 10 placement in the 2019 Shared Mobility City Index (SMCI), ™ which ranks a cross section of 20 major North American cities on the current scope of and expansion potential for shared mobility services.
Los Angeles is one of three cities to earn a perfect score on the SMCI “shared-mobility providers” measurement, the other two being San Francisco and Austin. This reflects the existence of a wide range of not only car-sharing options, but also of many other emerging options including bike and scooter sharing, “e-assist” or partially electrified bikes, and “micro-transit” (smaller transit vehicles often deployed on a demand-responsive basis).
Los Angeles also scored well, tying with several other U.S. cities for sixth spot, on a measurement of the scope of plans and policies designed to support the sharing and sustainability of transportation. This bodes well for future momentum and continued introduction of new and innovative shared mobility services for the city’s residents. Key among those planning and policy provisions is the “Mobility Plan 2035”, which among other objectives aims to provide a shared-use vehicle within a half-mile of 75 per cent of all households.
All that said, 84 per cent of Los Angeles commuters still use a car and fewer than five per cent walk or bike, and this weighed down the city’s SMCI ranking. Other cities have much higher uses of alternatives such as public transit and cycling, and this provides a better basis for the development of emerging multi-modal, shared mobility networks. Dallas, Houston and Phoenix are among only five cities on the SMCI index that ranked lower on the “commuting-patterns” measurement than Los Angeles.
Potential for further shared mobility expansion In Los Angeles is also constrained by the city’s relatively low density. Another limiting factor – and one that could be much more quickly addressed – is the comparatively very low cost of downtown parking. Whereas downtown garage parking costs only 1.9 times as much as a transit pass in Los Angeles, a New Yorker pays more than five times as much for the parking spot as for a pass.
“There’s still some truth to the image of LA as a freeway dominated and car-dependent city. But it’s also among those that already have the largest range of shared-mobility alternatives. Factors like density are a hurdle, but with a sound policy framework the city has the potential to pull further ahead as a shared mobility centre.” – Sandra Phillips, Founder and CEO, movmi Shared Transportation Services Inc.
- At some 8,500 inhabitants per square mile, Los Angeles ranked 10th among all SMCI cities for density, with well under half the 18,000 inhabitants per square mile of top-ranked San Francisco.
- Los Angeles’s recent “Shared Mobility Climate and Equity Action Plan” is a first of its kind, and specifically aims to leverage shared mobility as a tool to address climate change and inequitable access to transportation.
- At the broader regional level, the County of Los Angeles also has a variety of planning and policy provisions that support shared mobility including its Shared Mobility Action Plan, which aims to remove more than 100,000 private vehicles from the road by 2025; and its Bike Share Implementation Plan, which aims to establish a network of 3,800 shared bikes by 2021.
- Los Angeles has a wide range of car-sharing options including one-way, two-way, and peer-to-peer car sharing (where private owners make their vehicles available as part of a shared pool). This includes leading-edge services such as BlueLA, which has a 100 per cent electric fleet and services the city’s low-income communities.
- Residents of Los Angeles own an average of 1.62 vehicles per household – compared to 1.1 in San Francisco, and 0.6 in New York – while only 5.9 per cent of LA households do not own a vehicle.
- Integration of shared mobility options is proceeding in Los Angeles, for example through a partnership that enables the TAP smartcard to be used to access both county transit services and the Metro Bike Share program.
2019 Shared Mobility City Index, by Overall Score
(#9 in most recent previous SMCI)
The SCMI is compiled by movmi [www.movmi.net]– a Vancouver (Canada)-based consulting firm that works with entrepreneurs, non-profits, transit authorities, real estate developers and others to co-design shared mobility solutions. It works in diverse international markets, and regularly produces research and other industry-intelligence products. @shared_mobility
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