Build a Transportation System that Moves Los Angeles Forward and Works for Everyone
It shouldn’t be hard to get around Los Angeles safely, comfortably, and affordably. While our city is still synonymous with traffic 1, we know that nearly a million Angelenos use rail and transit every day 2. As a world class city, we must provide more choices for how people get around including a public transit system that serves people’s basic mobility needs.
No one should be denied access to employment, education or recreation simply because they don’t have a car. Angelenos shouldn’t lose hours of their days – or worse, years of their lives sitting in traffic, choked by toxic air – or at a higher risk of dying while walking or biking because they live in a certain zip code. In fact, no one should pay to ride public transit at all.
As Mayor, Karen Bass will deliver a free, reliable, quick, and efficient public transportation system that connects every neighborhood in Los Angeles.
And as the author of the local hire provision in the federal infrastructure bill, Bass knows that infrastructure is an opportunity to give Angelenos a leg up – whether it’s someone’s first job on a pathway into a skilled trade or a small business owner creating jobs in their community.
Bass will realize this vision by seizing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure huge investments – public and private – as we capitalize on the historic federal infrastructure bill and welcome the world back to Los Angeles for the 2028 Olympic Games.
She will leverage her deep relationships in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Washington, D.C., and will be relentless in bringing those dollars home so that we can rebuild our streets and sidewalks, knit communities together across the city with an expanded transit system, provide Angelenos with real choices to get from point A to point B, and create good, local jobs.
1. Make Transportation Fast and Free
As Mayor, Bass will reduce wait times, increase vehicle speeds, and expand the transit network so that Los Angeles, with or without a car, enjoys access to all the city has to offer. She will also make sure that no Angeleno ever has to pay to ride a bus or Metro train again saving working families thousands of dollars every year, and giving all Angelenos the freedom to get around their city without worry. 3
2. Make Transportation Safe and Inviting
No one should worry about their safety when they’re taking the bus or train. Unprovoked attacks on Metro riders are alarming and unacceptable. 456 As Mayor, Bass will demand a public transportation system that puts the safety of riders first. To get there, she will ensure that the system staffs all lines with teams of health care workers, mental health specialists, police officers, and housing and homeless providers that can address problems as they arise. With experts, advocates, and officers riding Metro, all riders will get the help they need if and when they need it.
3. Make Transportation Clean and Comfortable
Bass is committed to safe, clean, and accessible streets – and she knows that neighborhoods need and deserve lighting, shade, and clean streets. That’s why she will expand street lighting in urban neighborhoods, install shade and shelter at more bus stops that have the added benefit of protecting riders from heat, ensure safe and ubiquitous sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, and deploy sanitation crews and restore street sweeping to keep streets and bus stops clean.
4. Make Transportation Reliable
Bass will get buses moving quickly and reliably, making them an efficient choice for traveling, and easing congestion. She will work with the Metro Board to restore – and increase – Metro bus and on-demand services and give those buses dedicated lanes, all-door boarding, and advanced signal priority – getting Angelenos where they need to go on time.
She will help Metro address an ongoing worker shortage – which is a big part of the reliability issue – by listening to workers and responding to their concerns. She is committed to paying them fair wages, improving job conditions and culture, treating operators with dignity, and proactively building the workforce with an emphasis on recruiting individuals from areas that need the jobs most. 7
5. Make Transportation Sustainable and Expand Access to Electric Vehicles
We can and must transition our transportation sector towards a sustainable future that moves away from fossil fuels and creates good-paying local jobs. Electric transportation means more affordable travel, less dependence on oil and gas, and cleaner air.
As Mayor, Bass will:
- Move beyond oil toward an electric future by investing in citywide electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and increasing access to these resources for all – specifically in communities where access has been limited. Under her plan, drivers will no longer need to worry about where to charge their car.
- Create good-paying jobs installing and maintaining EV charging stations by expanding job training – particularly in underserved communities – and ensuring that small and minority-owned businesses can participate in the rapid growth of the charging network.
- Lower the cost of electric vehicles – including e-bikes – for working Angelenos by advocating for state and federal relief, and partnering with the private sector and philanthropy to offer rebates to drivers.
- Accelerate the transition to electrify all city-owned bus fleets and the replacement of all city vehicles that run on harmful fossil fuels with clean alternatives.
- Partner with Metro and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) on innovative ways to expedite the transition to a clean bus fleet throughout the city.
- Ensure that our power remains reliable and affordable as we advance our climate goals.
6. Provide Angelenos with Transportation Options through Expanded Universal Basic Mobility Programs
Transportation can often be among the largest expenses for a household. 8 And yet, it is transportation that connects people to the jobs and academic opportunities that can lift families out of poverty. As Mayor, Bass will expand and expedite the delivery of transportation options so that people can choose the best – and most affordable – way to get around.
Leveraging state and local money, the city recently launched an innovative Universal Basic Mobility pilot in South Los Angeles that will provide stipends to low-income families to choose their preferred mode of transportation, increase access to shared electric vehicles and e-bikes, improve and expand infrastructure and create jobs. 9 As Mayor, Bass will advocate for additional resources to expand these pilots to other underserved parts of the city.
These comprehensive neighborhood-based, people-first initiatives not only give people the freedom to move as they need – but they will directly connect them to the opportunities they need to live comfortably and with dignity.
7. Deliver Projects More Quickly to Connect Angelenos to Jobs
Los Angeles has made important investments in its public transit system in the last decade, but there are still major gaps in the Metro system, including from the Valley to the Westside. 10 Closing those gaps will require a leader who has the relationships and experience to win the federal and state funding we need to connect people from Sylmar to San Pedro.
As those essential new projects are being planned and developed, Bass will ensure that the Metro Board engages in genuine community stakeholder engagement and employs innovative delivery models, to mitigate the temporary impacts of construction on nearby neighborhoods and ensure that projects come in on-time and on-budget, so Angelenos can enjoy them as soon as possible.
8. Prevent Traffic Fatalities and Champion Walking and Biking
Los Angeles has one of the highest rates of traffic fatalities in the nation 11 – and those deaths disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. 1213 That is unacceptable. Traffic safety is a public health issue.
Meanwhile, survey after survey shows that Angelenos don’t feel safe getting around their neighborhood on foot and by bike – even though they want to. 1415 Angelenos shouldn’t have to worry about being struck by a car when they’re trying to bike to work or walk their children to school. Bass will stand up for safe streets, and prioritize accessibility for the most vulnerable members of our community.
As Mayor, Bass will:
- Treat street safety as the public health crisis it is, and leverage all available city resources to address unsafe speeds and save lives.
- Prioritize first and last-mile access to transit so that all Angelenos can use the region’s growing rail and bus network.
- Invest in street safety infrastructure that saves lives.
- Create family-friendly bicycle and pedestrian routes to connect neighborhood destinations and transit stops.
- Support and expand monthly open streets events across L.A. like CicLAvia that bring communities together.
9. Reconnect Communities
Too many poor neighborhoods and communities of color in L.A. have been sliced apart by freeways and redlining. 16 Structural problems require structural solutions, and Karen Bass will rectify these injustices by working with state and regional partners to improve connectivity, reduce blight, and end the widening of freeways, which simply lead to more traffic 17. Karen Bass
10. Train Tomorrow’s Workforce and Support Good, Local Jobs
Transportation requires a skilled workforce to build and maintain our infrastructure, operate and maintain our fleets, and plan our future systems. As we electrify our city infrastructure and transit systems, we will need tens of thousands of new workers to get the job done. Karen Bass will create those jobs in Los Angeles – and she will partner with local institutions to develop job training programs that train youth in the jobs of tomorrow.
As the author of the local hire provision in the federal infrastructure bill, Bass knows that infrastructure is an opportunity to give Angelenos a leg up – whether it’s someone’s first job on a pathway into a skilled trade or a small business owner creating jobs in their community.
Thanks to her leadership in Congress, Los Angeles will receive millions of dollars in infrastructure funding from the federal and state governments. Bass will capitalize on those dollars to create thousands of good-paying jobs in the public and private sector – contracting with local small businesses and promoting targeted local-hire to build robust career pipelines into good-paying local jobs.