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Unlocking Urban Mobility: Insights from LA’s Universal Basic Mobility Experiment

How L.A. is making getting around town a more equitable experience.

March 27, 2024

Join Next City on March 27th at 1 pm Eastern to explore the groundbreaking Universal Basic Mobility (UBM) experiment happening in Los Angeles and discover how this pilot aims to increase mobility for low-income individuals.

Los Angeles is running the biggest UBM program in the nation, giving 1,000 South LA residents $150 per month for a year to travel by bus, train, bike, scooter or more on a single debit card. In this webinar, we’ll explore how cities and transit agencies can launch their own UBM programs to increase economic opportunity and mobility for underserved communities. During this event, we’ll attempt to answer if all this can be done while lowering greenhouse gas emissions, if UBM could pave the way for connecting people to the resources they need on a single card, and why in many cities, residents can’t pay for the bus with their credit or debit cards.

Moderator:

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Maylin Tu is a freelance writer and reporter covering transportation and infrastructure in Los Angeles with bylines in the Guardian, KCET, Next City, LAist, LA Public Press and JoySauce. She graduated with a BA in English from William Jewell College in Missouri.

Panelists:

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Madeline Brozen is the Deputy Director of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, where she works to connect research to equitable policy outcomes. Her research focuses on the transportation needs of marginalized and underserved populations and how transportation connects people to opportunity. Madeline’s research tackles intersectional issues in transportation equity at the confluence of race, income, gender, age, and geography. Her current research explores the role of transportation interventions in improving people's quality of life, including LA’s mobility wallet pilot in providing transportation access and filling mobility gaps. She previously managed the UCLA Complete Streets Initiative and is a current member of the Mobility Justice Research Network and the Investing in Place advisory board.


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Avi Shavit is a Senior Director at LA Metro in the Office of Strategic Innovation where she leads the Pilots vertical. Her work focuses on shaping policies, pilot and projects that leverage behavioral science and technology to nudge LA County towards more equitable and sustainable modes of transportation instead of driving alone. She has two decades of experience in transportation and land use planning and previously worked in Metro’s Planning department launching and managing the Metro Bike Share program. A daily transit and bike rider with a flair for “cycle chic” fashion, Avital holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA.


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Gillian Gillett is Chief of the Division of Data and Digital Services at Caltrans, where she also manages the California Integrated Mobility Program. Prior to coming to Caltrans, she was the Transportation Policy Director for San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. Before entering public service, she was a consultant specializing in business process reengineering and custom software development for the financial services sector. She lives in San Francisco.

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