2022 Grants Challenge

Lincoln Heights Teen Mobility Center

The Lincoln Heights Teen Mobility Center is a teen-based bicycle co-op focused on providing training and activities to teens and free transportation options to low income residents by acquiring used bikes for repair and redistribution through an Adopt-a-Bike program. Middle and High school students will learn how to resource bikes, repair and donate or sell the refurbished bikes and parts to the community. It will also provide an opportunity to improve community safety through bike safety education, group rides and a community resource center.


Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.

LA Rooted: Roots in Motion

What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Community Safety

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

Central LA

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

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

We have raised an entire generation to be less healthy and car-dependent. School children are less active than any previous generation, in part because they are walking and biking to school less (18% now compared to 50% in 1970) with more cars going to school sites every day. As a result, obesity and heart-related health issues continue to rise, while traffic and traffic safety continue to worsen, especially at school sites. Additionally, low income Latinx, Black and immigrant youth have less access to secondary education and employment options due to limited access and expense. Unfortunately, a lack of local, affordable resources is a barrier to a simple solution for low income families: bicycles. A lack of access to bicycles means limited opportunities for transit, recreation and employment. This also results in less opportunities for kids to be active outside, explore their independence and develop responsibility, problem solving skills and community awareness.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

We will partner with LA Rooted to create the Lincoln Heights TMC to teach teens to collect, repair and distribute used bikes and provide free services to the community. This will provide transportation, education opportunities, improve community safety and allow kids to get additional exercise with an alternative for school commutes thereby also reducing the amount of cars and pollution at school sites. Gaining access to a bicycle and acquiring the skills to repair them builds confidence, and creates opportunities for adventure, while developing independence, responsibility and problem solving skills. Repair workshops will teach essential mechanical skills and help students develop teamwork and problem solving skills and seek opportunities in the bike industry as apprentice technicians. Safety workshops will ensure students learn to safely navigate an urban environment. Group rides will help build community and provide exciting opportunities to explore neighborhoods and destinations in a new way and how to connect with transit for even larger adventures. Students will also develop skills to become advocates for change in their community and work to inspire others to follow. They will taught to connect with public transit such as the Transit App, free student Metro pass programs and other community resources. Student leaders will help build sustainability by recruiting peers and strengthening partnerships allowing the TMC to become an integral resource within the community.

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

Short term: The TMC will be a valuable resource and education center for teens and provide tools for long-term sustainability by developing an enthusiastic stable of students, engaging curriculum and a pipeline for used bikes. The TMC will build on and establish relations with local resources such as Metro, Universities, bike shops and public schools. Long term: Teach youth to be less car-dependent and create a sustainable model to replicate throughout L.A. County. Community Resources: A local bike shop to offer free repairs; Adopt-a-Bike program; safety and repair workshops; group rides. Vocational Skills: Valuable work experience and the opportunity to develop real-world, marketable skills (bike repair, bike safety instruction, advocacy) Civic Engagement: Safe location to gather; active and public transportation encouragement; bicycle safety education; advocacy training Partnership Opportunities: High schools, trade schools, colleges/universities, advocacy groups, private businesses

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 Lincoln Heights TMC will build off the model we have established in Los Angeles. Since April 2020, we have collected, repaired and redistributed over 150 used bikes through partnerships with Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, Metro and general distribution requests. We currently have a wait list of over 100 for repaired bikes. Demand is high and supply plentiful. A lack of consistent mechanics and repair days have been barriers to dispersing bikes faster. We have fine-tuned our process and curriculum are now able to train students on-site with hands-on activities allowing us to be more consistent in the services provided. Staffing a second location will also help to expand our repair and distribution process. Though the final location is still to be determined, we are currently in discussion with USC Medical Center to secure a location on or near their Lincoln Heights campus and are confident a location will be in place by time grant funds are released.

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

Direct Impact: 124

Indirect Impact: 1,000

Describe the specific role of the partner organization(s) in the project, program, or initiative.

The Walk ‘n Rollers team will lead program coordition, administration, site magement, materials procurement, Adopt-a-bike oversight (bike acquisitions, repairs, distribution efforts). Walk ‘n Rollers will oversee program logistics and program oversight. LA Rooted’s multidiscipliry and multicultural education experts will spearhead The Lincoln Heights Teen Mobility Center curriculum development, launch community outreach and advocacy strategic plan; provide mobility safety instruction and ride leadership community engagements.