Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the creation of Urban Movement Labs (UML), a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership that will work to accelerate transportation innovation across Los Angeles at CoMotion LA.
The venture will focus on creating more ways for Angelenos to get around — by bringing stakeholders to the table to develop new ideas, safely testing them on L.A.’s streets, and rolling them out in close partnership with local communities.
“Urban Movement Labs will secure L.A.’s standing as the transportation innovation capital of the world — a place where new technologies are tested, proven, and brought to life, and people in every community have a seat at the table today as we think about what our city will look like tomorrow,” said Garcetti.
UML is the latest initiative led by Garcetti to ensure a sustainable, equitable, and accessible future for transportation in Los Angeles. It will empower a coalition of public and private sector partners, non-profit organizations, academic experts, and local residents to design and deploy creative solutions to the city’s critical transportation challenges.
In its first year, UML will work with local communities across L.A. to confront major issues affecting daily life, including providing better transportation options to L.A.’s residents and 50 million annual visitors; easing commutes across the region; and converting underused transportation assets into affordable housing.
Beyond working with residents to tackle these immediate challenges, UML will be built around three core initiatives:
- The Ideas Accelerator: UML will identify current challenges, match solutions to each of them, then develop pilot programs to test ideas on L.A.’s streets.
- The Economic and Workforce Development Initiative: UML will be laser-focused on one of Mayor Garcetti’s top priorities: developing a pipeline of businesses and good-paying jobs for the local workforce.
- The Urban Proving Grounds Initiative: UML leaders, partners and community members will identify and vet a network of L.A. neighborhoods where solutions can be tested, evaluated, scaled to size, and eventually deployed.
Founding partners of UML include Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office of Economic Development, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Los Angeles World Airports, the Port of Los Angeles, Avis Budget Group, the L.A. Cleantech Incubator, Lyft, Verizon, and Waymo.
Since taking office, Garcetti has launched BlueLA, the country's first 100% electric vehicle car-sharing program designed to serve low-income communities, directed the largest deployment of micromobility vehicles of any U.S. city through the pilot Dockless Mobility Program, integrated more than 1,000 shared bicycles into the L.A. region's public transit network with Metro Bike Share, and allocated resources to digitize the city's expansive curb assets to more efficiently manage curb access.
Garcetti also led the coalition to pass Measure M to invest $120 billion in expanding L.A. Metro’s rail system, fixing streets and freeways, and putting more than 777,800 people to work over the next 40 years.
This story was orginally posted on Metro Magazine.