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Officials want to take 100,000 cars off Los Angeles County's streets in 5 years

File: Traffic jams up trying to enter the 110 freeway, May 7, 2001, in downtown Los Angeles.
David McNew/Getty Images
File: Traffic jams up trying to enter the 110 freeway, May 7, 2001, in downtown Los Angeles.

Transportation officials announced an aggressive plan Wednesday to take 100,000 cars off the streets of Los Angeles County in five years. Metro and the city's Department of Transportation, along with representatives from Uber and Lyft, have joined the Shared-Use Mobility Center to back the goal.

The Shared Mobility Action Plan urges the county to leverage bike-sharing, rideshare apps and better public transit to lure drivers away from congested roads. The goal, executive director of the center Sharon Feigon told KPCC, is to expand sustainable, cost-effective modes of transportation for the city. 

"L.A. is known as the heart of car culture and this elaborate freeway system, and there’s just a general sense that it’s impossible to get anywhere without a car — and it is, in fact, very difficult to get to a lot of places," she said. 

But, she added, it's possible to change this reality. By bulking up on stuff that’s already in place, like bike-share programs — that are not too expensive to execute —there's no reason why L.A. can't have extensive public transportation systems like New York or Chicago, Feigon said.

She added that Metro has some sitting funds that can be dedicated to connecting systems already in place and prioritizing projects that will make it easier for Angelenos to navigate the city.

She noted that newly introduced transit lines like the Expo Line, have experienced higher ridership than anticipated — an example of what the county is doing right. The county is lacking in other areas, Feigon said, including in improving bus routes, which are subject to the same road congestion as cars.

Apart from cutting down on the cost of commuting for less wealthy Angelenos, a reduction in cars would also help cut down on harmful emissions, she said.

Removing 100,000 cars from L.A.'s streets could cut annual CO2 emissions by nearly 375,000 metric tons, according to the center. One metric ton of CO2 is released into the atmosphere for every 100 gallons of gas a car uses.

The center estimates the region could reach its goal by adding approximately 34,000 new transit riders, 16,800 carpool users, 8,400 car-share cars and 10,000 bike-share bikes. 

Read the full plan here: