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Announcing the All Hands On Deck Fundraiser!

This summer, we are launching our new Hood Planners Certification Program, and we are calling for All Hands On Deck to help us raise funds!

The Deck

With support from the California Bicycle Coalition, we created a deck of mobility justice playing cards (#mobilityjusticedeck), a popular education tool that shares important milestones for mobility (in)justice from the 1840s to the present. The deck was developed by a talented team of researchers, artists, graphic designers, and writers, including Chynna Monforte, Hector Benavides, Grace Lynne, and PMJ staff. With ongoing expansion packs, the deck will allow us to continue cataloguing the history of the mobility justice movement taking shape today.

The Hood Planners Certification Program

Too often, transportation agencies turn to planning consultants when trying to address equity concerns. PMJ is clear that community members are the real experts, their depth of knowledge and lived experiences should be valued and paid fairly, and they should be the ones consulted to share their vision for what lasting, community-oriented, and inclusive solutions look like. That’s why we are creating the Hood Planners Certification Program, a combination online and in-person course geared towards community-based activists.

The curriculum will be delivered through three modules over six weeks and will engage youth (Young-Stars) and elders (Super-Stars). Structuring the modules are PMJ’s 5 Ds of street safety - Decolonize, Decriminalize, Decongest, Dignify, Determination (learn more here). Each module will be led by a different peer leader as the cohort takes a look at the history of mobility (in)justice in communities of color and an overview of the current cultural and political landscape.

Our program is grounded in our values, which is why we pay community members a stipend to be certified and connected to employment opportunities in the transportation, planning, and advocacy sectors. In the spirit of equity, this course will also be available to professionals and government staff for a fee. This powerful design creates sustainability and a cohort that is intergenerational, multidisciplinary, and from varying economic backgrounds.  The first online course is set to be released in late summer and early fall 2019.

Help us meet our fundraising goal of $30,000 to develop the curriculum and offer stipends to 30 youth and elders to become certified Hood Planners by 2020!

Your contributions will go directly toward developing a radical educational curriculum that uplifts youth and elders to become advocates for their own communities, have their community expertise valued, and get certified in the process.

Hood Planners & Staying Alive

The Hood Planners Certification Program is being piloted through PMJ’s partnership with Ride On! Bike Shop & Co-Op in Leimert Park. With support from the 11th Hour Project’s Just Transit Challenge, we are co-creating Staying Alive Leimert, a two-year effort to identify and address various cultural, political, and economic factors keeping communities of color dependent on fossil fuels. The first cohort of Hood Planners will gather surveys from community members that we will use to define a local definition of mobility justice and authentic street safety.

Our work on Staying Alive Leimert will in turn shape a broader Staying Alive Street Safety Platform to be launched in early 2020. We know that our most vulnerable community members face higher rates of traffic fatalities, displacement, intercommunity violence and state-sanctioned violence, such as imprisonment, deportation and death. Yet conventional approaches to “street safety” in transportation and mobility, such as Vision Zero, focus only on reducing vehicular violence. After years of engaging with this model and learning from community safety, Indigenous sovereignty, and economic justice, we believe that a robust street safety platform must be designed by community members in order to address their most pressing concerns.  

The Mobility Justice Deck grew from a seed grant provided by the California Bicycle Coalition. Many thanks to Dave, Jared, and the rest of the CalBike team for your support!

NewsAdonia Lugo
Introducing the New Transpo Team
Bike share station pic.jpg

Many cities and transit agencies across the globe are talking about how to make transportation more green, equitable, safe, and “advanced” in this Digital Age. At first glance, these “new transportation” ideas seem wholesome and designed to benefit everyone, even our dear earth. Our People for Mobility Justice (PMJ) researchers decided to form a “New Transpo Team” in order to take a closer look at this topic. Here’s a reflection from our “New Transpo Team” which is our new think tank exploring the future of mobility.

New Transportation in the Context of Mobility Justice

As we summarize below, we used an equity lens to analyze the effects that some trendy models could have on the mobility justice needs of our most vulnerable community members. Could these new systems actually accommodate and improve the mobility for, let's say, an elder who is blind and undocumented? What other communities must be considered to ensure that everyone is served? Do these new systems uphold capitalist exchange and exploitation, or do they transform mobility into something more restorative? These are just some of many questions we raised.

Let's review some of the new transportation trends. It seems like every day there’s another system or issue popping up, so this is just a handful.

Privatization of Public Transit - It’s important to note whether a transportation system is operated by a public agency or by a private company, which can vary from city to city. Public and private entities are subject to different standards for transparency and public accountability. The California Brown Act mandates that government agencies, such as transportation departments, hold open meetings. How do we hold private entities accountable? Lacking resident oversight and input, decisions made in private business meetings could have adverse impacts on the travel experiences of our most vulnerable community members. Will these private companies pay their fair share for usage of the public roadway that is owned by the city and everyone who lives, shops and works in the city?

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) - This term describes “ride sharing” companies such as Lyft and Uber. The number of people using TNCs is increasing everyday as they find this option more convenient than taking public transit in Los Angeles. However, we’ve learned from ADAPT Los Angeles that these app-based services are not necessarily in compliance with ADA requirements that would make it possible for everyone to use them, both in terms of ordering rides and having disabilities accommodated. We are also concerned that if TNCs decrease bus ridership, core bus riders could see cuts to their service, further narrowing their already limited transportation options. Added to all this, TNCs tend to rely on exploitative employment practices, such as classifying drivers as independent contractors, in order to remain profitable. They have not been providers of the good jobs our communities need  to thrive.

Automated Vehicles (AVs) - AVs are being touted as a safety innovation, but we are concerned that human-developed artificial intelligence technology is a poor fit for the often chaotic social life of shared streets. Besides traffic collisions, car-based travel also harms our communities through congestion and pollution, regardless of whether the driver is human or AI. We are also concerned about job loss. Are AV companies innovating new jobs for human drivers? If not, it is likely that they expect the burden of job loss to fall on public services while they profit from reduced operating costs. Another burden that this industry places on public coffers is developing regulation and installing infrastructure on streets and roadways to accommodate AVs. Who will pay for these changes, and who will benefit from them?

Electric Bus Fleets - Cities and transit agencies all over the U.S. are replacing their old bus fleets with eco-friendly buses. Where are the old buses going: to a landfill, or to a second life of service in another country? We know it is not always the most green option to buy something new; retrofitting systems so that they work more efficiently is a key strategy for those of us whose families have had to work their way out of poverty. We wonder about the contracting processes that lead to public dollars being spent on newly manufactured rolling stock, and whether they continue the destructive capitalist cycle of planned obsolescence.

Hyperloop - One of the most hyped new transpo systems in Los Angeles is the proposed hyperloop. This so-called innovation is essentially a faster subway in the shape of a pod that would move about 16 passengers at a time. This may sound cool and futuristic, but it’s a private venture by Elon Musk, who used federal bailout money to prop up his failing electric car company. He’s also been at the forefront of the AV industry that we discussed above. It’s hard to imagine that someone with a record of using public resources for private profit, and with such enthusiasm for eliminating jobs, would produce a transportation system with true public benefit. Why take on the huge expense and risks of tunneling for such a small-scale project in our geologically sensitive region?

California High Speed Rail - The California High Speed Train will have several clear advantages over planes, offering cleaner travel and better transportation options for people who are traveling from one city to another. In many cases, trains are cost-effective, time-efficient, and provide riders a fresh perspective on traveling and interaction with other riders. However, there are myriad issues plaguing the construction and effectiveness of the train: rising costs, postponed completion dates, and access for low-income communities. Then there is noise pollution, and potential displacement of long-term residents around stations as development increases. This is another case where public-private partnership will likely result in heavy burdens on public resources.

Red Flags

  • Private systems that rely on public dollars

  • Lack of transparency in system design

  • Success defined as profit

  • Economic benefits (such as jobs) go to people who are not local residents

  • Systems that remove jobs without replacing them

  • Individuals with disabilities left out of design

  • Systems that rely on cars congesting our shared streets

  • Private systems undercutting the availability of public options

There is a lot to consider with so many new transportation systems rolling out. What we’ve summarized here is a snapshot of the conversations we’re having at PMJ based on our past work on shared mobility and our commitment to mobility justice. Perhaps many of these systems shared above may have a place in the future of mobility justice if used appropriately; what feels urgent to us is developing good structures for accountability today.

We want to leave you with these questions that may help your community come up with some mobility justice principles in response to these systems. What are you thinking about? How is your community contending with this?

For more information feel free to contact Río Oxas:

Published: July 17, 2018 by People for Mobility Justice. Suggested citation: People for Mobility Justice. (2018). New transportation in the context of mobility justice. Retrieved from

Don’t miss Metro BEST Bike Classes

MCM, Bike SGVCICLE and LACBC have all partnered with Metro to provide free classes geared toward beginners who want to ride bike paths or city streets.


  • 4/29 – Bike 3 Street Skills in Altadena
  • 5/6 – Bike 1 Back to the Basics in Long Beach
  • 5/12 – Bike 2 Rules of the Road in Gardena
  • 5/20 – Bike 2 Rules of the Road Long Beach
  • 5/26 –  Bike 3 Street Skills in Gardena
  • 6/10 – Bike 3 Street Skills in Long Beach
"What is Walkability and Mobility Justice?" Podcast Episode

As we’re transitioning to People for Mobility Justice, we often get asked what Mobility Justice means. We’re also continuing to challenge how cities define and design for walkability and bikeability. Maria Sipin, PMJ board member, is a guest on the latest episode of Move Your DNA, and talks about what walkability means in the context of mobility justice for communities of color. Here’s our take on walkability to add to the ways that transportation planners and real estate agents may be defining it. Fast forward to 43:35 on the recording, and check out the transcript.

Pedal Pulse Pride Bike Ride!

We were all so honored to ride our bikes in remembrance of our QTIBIPOC and LGBTQIA+ ancestors, elders, and young elders. The day began with a surprise visit from Jewel Thais-Williams, an elder in our community who started Catch One and the Village Health Foundation which are both landmarks and important spaces that were created for our communities particularly for the Black and African-American LGBTQIA+ communities. Our opening talk was lead by our Two-Spirit relatives from Three Arrows Healing Circles who offered our ride blessings and a prayer song.

We then rode our bikes to honor Victoria “Viccky” Ramos Gutierrez, a transgender woman from Honduras that was murdered earlier this year. We were able to learn more about Viccky from Erika from Translatin@ Coalition who spoke of Vickky and the work Translatin@ Coalition is doing to provide support and resources to other Trans people. 

Our ride ended at ONE Archives in USC, home of the oldest and largest LGBTQIA+ archives in the Western Hemisphere. At this time we also remembered our 49 angels from Pulse Orlando and gifted the archives the flags made on behalf of these ancestors. Our day was filled with tears, laughter, joy, unity and solidarity. We plan to make this an annual ride and hope you can make it out next year!

Pedal.Pulse.Pride. Bi-Coastal Bike Ride! Sat. June 2nd @ 10am

Pedal.Pulse.Pride. Bicycle Ride


Join us Saturday, June 2, 2018 as People for Mobility Justice FKA Multicultural Communities for Mobility will be hosting the Los Angeles Pedal.Pulse.Pride Bike Ride in partnership with TransLatin@ Coalition funded by Metro.

P.P.P is a bi-coastal unity bike ride born in D.C. in conjunction with Atlanta, Charlotte, Lansing, and Mendocino honoring the 49 lives lost at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. We will also be honoring Victoria "Viccky" Ramos Gutierrez who we lost on January 10, 2018 due to a hate crime in Pico-Union.

All the rides are led by and centered for QTIBIPOC - Black Indigenous People of Color who identify as Queer, Trans Intersex and LGBTQIA+. We are asking ALL of our loved ones to join us in solidarity!

Please join us Saturday, June 2 2018! Register HERE on our Eventbrite! Please share this ride on your social media feeds!

See you then!

Union Station's Bike Night

Our Mobility Justice members teamed up with Ni Santas Women Art Collective for Bike Night presented by Metro at Union Station! Ni Santas designed a Mobility Justice t-shirt while we collected messaging from people asking them to describe what safety means to them.

See our gallery below!

Congreso Ibérico

Adonia expanded PMJ’s diálogo mundial in València, Spain, where she spoke at the XV Congreso Ibérico “La bicicleta y la ciudad,” the annual joint summit of Spanish and Portuguese bicycle advocates. Alongside Spanish anthropologist Eli Lorenzi, Adonia participated in a workshop to design international standards for what makes a city “bike friendly” and gave her first formal presentation in castellano. Let’s keep talking about mobility justice between our borderlands and the European frontera that is Spain. Reach out to Adonia at for a recording of her talk, “La bici como puente de justicia social: La red ‘Bike Equity Network’ en los Estados Unidos.”

Decarbonizing Transportations: Mobility in Los Angeles

Río joined Romel Pascual, CicLAvia executive director, and Brian Taylor, professor of urban planning at the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA, to discuss how to create decarbonized urban pathways and infrastructure that enhance access for pedestrians, drivers, bicyclists, and mass transit riders alike at The Hammer Museum. The panel was moderated by Jay Kim, Assistant General Manager of Mobility Management, Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Play the recording HERE!

ACT LA's #PeoplesTransit Town Hall

Erick Huerta, Mobility Justice Team member, participated in a panel at ACT LA’s Transit Oriented Development #PeoplesTransit Town Hall with community members, transit users, and Metro representatives where they discussed how we can ensure transit investments support community development, anti-displacement strategies, quality employment, and more for low-income communities of color. PMJ participates in coalitions such as ACT LA to share recommendations that prioritize the needs of our communities for housing security, transit access, and local jobs.