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Low Income

The Biggest Universal Basic Mobility Experiment In The US

In May, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and LA Metro launched the biggest Universal Basic Mobility experiment ever attempted in the U.S., giving 1,000 South Los Angeles residents a “mobility wallet” — a debit card with $150 per month to spend on transportation. The catch? Funds can be used to take the bus, ride the train, rent a shared e-scooter, take micro-transit, rent a car-share, take an Uber or Lyft, or even purchase an e-bike — but they can’t be spent on the cost of owning or operating a car. The year-long pilot, ending in April, has the dual goals of increasing mobility for low-income residents and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Cheaper Solar Power Means Low-income Families Can Also Benefit

Until recently, rooftop solar panels were a clean energy technology that only wealthy Americans could afford. But prices have dropped, thanks mostly to falling costs for hardware, as well as price declines for installation and other “soft” costs. Today hundreds of thousands of middle-class households across the U.S. are turning to solar power. But households with incomes below the median for their areas remain less likely to go solar. These low- and moderate-income households face several roadblocks to solar adoption, including cash constraints, low rates of home ownership and language barriers. Our team of researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory examined how various policies and business models could affect the likelihood of people at all income levels adopting solar.
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