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Reconnecting America Releases LA Equity Atlas Report

How do we fulfill the promise of public transit in Los Angeles?

With a $40 billion voter-approved transit investment being deployed over the next 20 years, Los Angeles County residents are charting a path to a new future.

With a $40 billion voter-approved transit investment being deployed over the next 20 years, the Los Angeles County transit system expansion will add 102 miles of rail transit and almost 100 new stations, while creating 400,000 new jobs. While the City of Los Angeles is ground zero for much of this change - at the core of the transit network and with 113 current and planned stations - 63 other jurisdictions across the County will also enjoy frequent transit, making the scale of change as record-breaking as the pace of change.

Today, Reconnecting America and the California Community Foundation released the Los Angeles Equity Atlas, a tool that has been developed to ensure that Los Angeles County's new future is inclusive and offers housing, education, economic, and health opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents and workers. The Equity Atlas illuminates issues and opportunities through data and maps across the many dimensions of equity and transit across the county. The Equity Atlas was developed through a series of convenings with experts from public health, planning, community and economic development, transit, environmental advocacy, business and philanthropy. It pulls existing research together with original analysis across four themes:

  • Increasing Mobility, Access and Connectivity
  • Preserving and Creating Affordable Housing, and Managing Neighborhood Change
  • Supporting Economic and Workforce Development
  • Investing in Healthy Communities

"This Atlas helps us benchmark where we are today so we can figure out where to head tomorrow," said Ann Sewill, Vice President of Housing and Economic Development at the California Community Foundation. "The scale and pace of investment in transit cannot be ignored. To keep up, we need to ensure advocates, agencies, and philanthropy with from a coordinated message and plan. The Equity Atlas - and the strong collaboration we had from numerous sectors and fields during its development - is a major leap forward for us."

Jeff Wood, Reconnecting America's New Media Director and Chief Cartographer, adds: "The Equity Atlas is a one-stop-shop for talking points, data, and graphics supporting the need for an inclusive transit system. The web-based tool is a resource available to everyone."

Indeed, the Atlas both draws from the large body of existing research in Los Angeles County, while augmenting with original analysis measuring performance near the transit system. A sample of some of the "Fast Facts" include:

  • Workers earning less than $25,000 a year make up 71% of the commute to work trips on the existing transit system. Core riders cannot be a casualty of new investment and the growing desirability of well-connected urban neighborhoods, or the system may not sustain its successful ridership performance.
  • 1.18 million people live within a half-mile of the frequent transit system, but 7.8 million people (nearly 80% of county residents) live within 3 miles of the system, suggesting a need for supportive investment in biking infrastructure and bus service.
  • Though the Los Angeles is the most transit rich city in the County, 63 local will have frequent transit access and many lack strong support for affordable housing.
  • Nearly 80% of housing growth in the county between 2000 and 2010 was near frequent transit.
  • 64 existing and planned rail and BRT stations are within a quarter mile of a freeway.
  • There are 27 acres of park per 1,000 residents in California, and 24 acres per 1,000 residents in Southern California. There are only 4.6 acres per 1,000 residents within walking distance of transit in Los Angeles County.

Visit our LA Equity Atlas page