Just Transit Challenge Winners Announced
March 22, 2017, San Francisco, CA — For the second year in a row, The 11th Hour Project has teamed up with key stakeholders in California to bring equitable and climatefriendly transportation solutions to cities across America through the Just Transit Challenge.
This year’s focus cities, Fresno and Long Beach, were selected both for the unique transportation challenges they face, as well as the immense opportunities they present for innovation and transformation. Fresno, where the population has exploded over the last decade, requires a reimagining of viable transportation solutions that address the needs of both its rural and urban residents. Meanwhile, Long Beach has a number of mobility options but there is a need to increase the access to alternatives to driving alone, and the mild climate creates an ideal setting to promote human-powered transportation.
“Transportation touches all of our lives almost every day,” said Jamie Dean, Program Director for Renewable Energy & Climate at The 11th Hour Project. “It can be a major asset in bridging communities and opportunities, or it can be a barrier. As the urgency to address climate change and poor air quality increases in California, cities need affordable, accessible, and greener transportation solutions that meet our communities’ ever-evolving needs. And that is what this year’s Just Transit Challenge set out to find.”
From over 30 proposals, six projects (three from each city) were ultimately selected and will receive a combined total of $400,000 dollars to see their cutting-edge transportation project become a reality. Meet our winners:
Real-Time Transit Fresno: This cross-sector initiative from Fresno Area Express (FAX), ScholarDev LLC and ValleyPBS will create a mobile app that will help bus users discover routes and track their buses in real-time. The app will eventually be available in multiple languages and with accessibility features for the visually impaired.
Van y Vienen: The Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability will implement a shared ridership program in the unincorporated communities of Cantua Creek and El Porvenir. Electric-powered vanpools will fill a critical gap in transportation options while simultaneously reducing car trips, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving air quality.
Green Raiteros: Building off the existing “Raiteros” model, which offers low-cost transportation to farm workers, Valley LEAP will build a “Green Raiteros” fleet comprised of Electric Vehicles (EVs) that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while bolstering an existing service trusted by and familiar to the community.
Century Villages at Cabrillo (CVC): The “Once Per Week” initiative will leverage the CVC’s new transit hub and its expanded education and outreach efforts to reduce the number of car trips to the campus. With innovative video broadcasts, infrastructure improvements, and incentive programs, CVC will help its residents (formerly homeless veterans and families), and employees choose cleaner transportation alternatives.
Pedal Movement: This project will convert four shipping containers into a network of bicycle service facilities, each providing free bicycle education, lowcost options for repairs and parts, and opportunities to acquire a bicycle for low/no cost. Programming will be directed at new urban riders, especially youth, families, and low-income commuters.
Safe Routes to School: Walk Long Beach wants to ensure cleaner safer neighborhoods for students and their families. The Safe Routes to Schools project (SRTS) promotes walking and biking to school, reducing vehicle emissions and congestion, and building community cohesion and safety awareness.
In addition to funding the winning ideas, Just Transit is also about connecting with local organizations and leaders and beginning to understand the transportation challenges in each community in a deeper way.
Joe Sciortino, the Executive Director of The Schmidt Family Foundation, said “The evolution of our transportation and energy systems is already underway, but we can and must do more to accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels in the transportation system. We are thrilled to see the Just Transit Challenge winners put their ideas to work for their own communities and hope they inspire new, cleaner transportation models for cities all over the country.”