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A woman ready for work walks toward a city bus

SCAG Investigates Transportation and Pricing

The Southern California Association of Governors (SCAG) recently released the Mobility Innovations and Pricing Report, focused on identifying the transportation needs of underserved communities and how to adjust the public transportation system and road systems to address inequities posed by the distances and available modes of transportation between where people live and where they need to go for work, healthcare, and other essential services.

To gather information for the report, SCAG’s Special Committee on Equity and Social Justice convened three workshops with a community advisory committee of 13 nonprofit organizations serving seven underrepresented populations, specifically low-income communities of color, populations with limited English proficiency, transit-dependent and/or zero-car households, women and female-headed households, older adults, youth, and individuals with access sand functional needs.

The workshops identified priorities and goals to increase equity around transportation. The main priorities that the participants identified were public transportation, affordable housing/anti-displacement, environmental justice and public health as the main priorities. The workshops yielded goals of improving accessibility and reliability for public transportation; ensuring regional coordination of services for people commuting into Los Angeles County; electrifying vehicles to cut down on air pollution; eliminating transit fares; and shifting funding from potential over-policing of transportation toward alternative enforcement models rooted in restorative justice. The committee then partnered with two groups to lead community events to address specific issues of equity in transportation, the first addressing how the pandemic affected mobility for older adults, LGBTQ+ communities and other vulnerable communities, and the second focusing on how the transit system could better address the needs of people with disabilities.

The project identified particular Transportation Equity Zones, or neighborhoods where residents of certain underrepresented populations live, as well as common commuting routes. Some of the target destinations reviewed include the Irvine Business Complex (that pulls from Long Beach, Fullerton, Inglewood, East LA, Pasadena and Pomona); the Corona Industrial Commercial District (the attracts workers from Santa Ana, Fullerton, San Bernardino, Fontana and Moreno Valley); downtown Calexico (that pulls workers from El Centro and Brawley); and Simi Valley Industrial/Commercial District (that pulls commuters from East LA, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and Oxnard). The majority of people commuting from TEZs carpool and do not have access to rail lines or reliable and accessible bus transportation.

The report urged investment in subsidies or exemptions from payment for certain users, investing in first-mile-last-mile connections to expand access to transit beyond the immediate surroundings of a transit stop, investing in transportation to make it more reliable and frequent, and investing in carpool programs.


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