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LA launches PPP to steer mobility innovation

Urban Movement Labs aims to unite government, business, academics and residents around new mobility solutions for the city.

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Los Angeles has announced the creation of Urban Movement Labs (UML) which it says is a “first-of-its-kind” public-private partnership (PPP) to accelerate transportation innovation across the city.

 

The venture brings together stakeholders, including city representatives, citizens, the private sector and academia, to collaborate on new ideas, test them on LA’s streets and roll them out.

 

In its first year, UML will work with local communities on issues such as easing commutes and converting underused transportation assets into affordable housing.

 

Founding members 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 LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI), Lyft, Verizon and Waymo.

In its first year, UML will work with local communities on issues such as easing commutes and converting underused transportation assets into affordable housing.

 

The move is likely an attempt to ease some of the tensions Los Angeles, like many other cities, has experienced with mobility companies. For instance, LA has an ongoing dispute with Uber over the city’s rules on data-sharing. Uber and its subsidiary Jump, which operates scooters and bikes, threatened to sue Los Angeles on privacy grounds over the mandate to share data back to the city. Los Angeles temporarily suspended Uber’s permit earlier this month. Uber appealed and a decision is pending.

 

 

LA wants to lead

 

“Angelenos don’t wait for the future — we guide it,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Urban Movement Labs will secure LA’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.”

UML will be focused on three core initiatives:

  • The Ideas Accelerator: UML will identify current challenges, match solutions to each of them, then develop pilot programmes to test ideas on LA’s streets.
  • The Economic and Workforce Development Initiative: a key priority will be developing a pipeline of businesses and jobs for the local workforce, the Mayor said.
  • The Urban Proving Grounds Initiative: UML partners and community members will agree on a network of LA neighbourhoods where solutions can be tested, evaluated, scaled to size, and eventually deployed.

Lilly Shoup, Lyft senior director of transportation policy, said: “Lyft is committed to expanding transportation access and opportunity. That includes working with public, private and non-profit leaders to help find the best solutions to every transportation challenge.

“We are thrilled to be a founding member of UML and look forward to working collaboratively with so many stakeholders toward our shared goals of sustainable, equitable and enhanced mobility for all communities.”

 

“Angelenos don’t wait for the future — we guide it,” said Mayor Garcetti.


“Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network applications and solutions are expected to power the transportation revolution,” commented Stefano Landi, director, sales and business development, Verizon Smart Communities. “By investing in organisations such as the UML, Verizon will help the City of Los Angeles and communities everywhere — including those that have been traditionally underserved — to accelerate the delivery of next-generation technologies that transform the way we live, work and play.”

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