2021 Grants Challenge

SankofaCity: Zero Emissions Multimodal Transportation Ecosystem

Idea by SankofaCity

SankofaCity ZEMTE initiative will use grant funding to continue providing free on-demand shuttle services and e-bike rentals by extension of the quick start LACI ZEMCP, Leimert Park Multimodal Transportation efforts, currently available since fall 2020. Interim funding is necessary to avoid gaps in the aforementioned mobility services through the end of 2021. Alternative grant funding is allocated for a transition towards a Leimert Park community-owned and operated transportation provider solution, scheduled to launch services in early 2022.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

South LA

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Greater Leimert Park Village Crenshaw Corridor (GLPVCC) suffers from a lack of multimodal connectivity and shared mobility services, high incidence of pedestrian/cyclist injuries/fatalities due to vehicle collisions, cost-burdened households with above-average housing/transportation expenses, poor air quality, and low vehicle-ownership rates. Sankofacity transportation needs assessment reports, based on extensive community engagement with GLPVCC stakeholders, indicate significant gaps in the availability of affordable and safe transportation options, which residents of all ages need to access jobs, education, and other essential services. GLPVCC community stakeholders also indicated concerns regarding parking, traffic congestion, and adverse health effect due to poor air quality issues.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

SankofaCity seeks to address systemic transportation, employment, education, and health care inequities suffered by disadvantaged South LA communities of color, by developing a community-owned and operated Zero Emissions Multimodal Transportation Ecosystem with opportunities for sustainable economic development, employment, education, skills training, and cultural tourism within GLPVCC neighborhoods. Grant funding will be used to prevent a gap in multimodal transportation services currently provided by the quickstart LACI ZEMCP Leimert Park efforts, which employs local shuttle drivers and vehicle/e-bike maintenance staff, funds community outreach, and provides residents with on-demand access to numerous financial institutions, health care facilities, pharmacies, grocery markets, parks, public spaces, cultural events, performing arts venues, visual art galleries, and local schools, as well as first-last-mile access to public transportation bus stops and LA Metro Stations. Sankofacity has secured alternative 5-year grant funding, earmarked to develop a community-owned multimodal transportation provider and mobility innovation cooperative, that is scheduled to expand the aforementioned mobility services in the GLPVCC neighborhoods as early as January 2022.The goal is to sustainably operate zero-emission transportation-as-a-service while developing value add opportunities that include cultural tourism, mixed reality experiences, online user experiences, and network marketing POS.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 1,000

Indirect Impact: 57,993

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

SankofaCity empowers GLPVCC communities to self-sufficiently co-operate and maintain Zero Emission Multimodal Transportation with support from CBOs and Mobility Providers, collaboratively offering operational oversight and technical expertise; thus providing unique local economic development, intellectual property, jobs, and skills-training opportunities that socialize innovative mobility futures and track operational best practices. Utilizing co-operative and revenue-sharing business models SankofaCity redistributes profits directly back into under-served Angeleno communities to build both individual and collective assets for the neighborhoods serviced. Most importantly, SankofaCity ZEMTE provides community stakeholders with clean mobility options that mitigate dependencies on personal transportation, improve access to local resources, facilitate employment opportunities, ease parking scarcities, minimize pedestrian fatalities, and proportionally alleviate environmental concerns.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

The SankofaCity, ZEMTE application is based on a Community Needs Assessment formulated with extensive engagement with GLPVCC community stakeholders; desktop research on safety, infrastructure, and accessibility; and initial results of a quick-start pilot program with LACI ZEMCP. In addition to meeting the needs raised by community stakeholders and confirmed by desktop research, our proposal will also expand and extend a successful 6-month, LACI ZEMCP Leimert Park Multimodal Transportation effort. Our proposal, if successfully granted, will build on best practices from the quick-start LACI ZEMCP by extending and expanding mobility services over the next year, in parallel with recently secured 5-year grant funding. Based on LACI ZEMCP findings, the GLPVCC community is most engaged with demand-responsive shuttle service and less receptive to e-bike library rentals. Thus funding would in part be utilized to provide more than 6 times the LACI ZEMCP.weekly shuttle hours of service.

Describe the role of collaborating organizations on this project.

CEDC/IMHP: Fiscal Sponsor and Business development KAOS Network: Community Design and Engagements MobilityCouture: Transportation Consulting and Implimentation We Love Leimert: Community Outreach RideOn! Bike Shop + Coop: e-bike rentals and maintenance

Which of the CREATE metrics will you impact?​

Income inequality

Minority- and women-owned businesses

High-growth startups

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

LA is the best place to LEARN

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE