Following a competitive proposal process, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has offered $1.6 million to the City of Los Angeles to set up a pilot carsharing program for electric vehicles in disadvantaged communities. The grant will fulfill a key mandate of SB 1275, the Charge Ahead California Initiative, enacted last year to make clean transportation more widely available, particularly in low and moderate-income neighborhoods. (Earlier post.)
SB 1275 directs the Air Resources Board to establish a suite of equity programs aimed at making clean cars and trucks accessible to low- and moderate-income Californians. These include electric vehicle carsharing programs in disadvantaged communities; financing options that would lower combined monthly car payments and fuel costs; and incentives for the replacement of gas-guzzling “clunkers” with new or used electric cars or vouchers for transit and car-sharing.
The funding was announced at an event held at an affordable housing complex in the MacArthur Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, one of the neighborhoods that will be served by the pilot program, which aims to serve 7,000 residents in disadvantaged communities.
The funding for the project comes from fees collected under the state’s climate change law, AB 32. A second law, SB 535, mandates that one quarter of these funds go to projects that benefit disadvantaged communities in highly polluted areas.
The Charge Ahead California campaign, which worked with Sen. de León to pass SB 1275, is led jointly by five environmental and environmental justice organizations, all of whom applauded today’s award.
Some of the Charge Ahead California groups also play leadership roles in the SB 535 Coalition, which pursues implementation of the 2012 law which channels climate funds to the communities suffering the worst effects of pollution and disinvestment.