Establishing long-term financial sustainability for clean mobility equity programs represents one of the largest challenges that these programs face. In Clean Mobility Equity: A Playbook, The Greenlining Institute conducted an equity evaluation of a selection of California’s clean mobility equity programs, which include electric vehicle carsharing, shared mobility hubs, community-driven mobility pilots and more. Some are still in the pilot project phase and others operate more as full-fledged programs. In this evaluation, a common theme that emerged was that uncertain financial sustainability and stability limits the ability of these programs and pilots to grow and serve more low-income, disadvantaged communities, and communities of color. While the Low Carbon Transportation Program and other state funding sources provided seed funding for many of the clean mobility equity pilot projects that we evaluated, we need strategies to maintain these services after the initial grant runs out.
Therefore, we used Greenlining’s Six Standards for Equitable Investment and the Making Equity Real Framework, to explore several ways that these programs may be able to generate and sustain the funding needed to continue the operation of clean mobility equity programs.
Six Standards for Equitable Investment
Our Greenlined Economy Guidebook introduces six standards for equitable investment that are intended to address the failures of equity in our current models of investment. Without clear standards, we end up reinforcing the structures that caused problems in the first place.
Emphasize Anti-Racist Solutions
Prioritize Multi-Sector Approaches
Deliver Intentional Benefits
Build Community Capacity
Be Community-Driven At Every Stage
Establish Paths Toward Wealth-Building
Making Equity Real Framework
Greenlining’s Making Equity Real Framework can be overlaid with Six Standards for Equitable Investment to ensure that they are applied in a comprehensive manner every step of the way.
1. Vision and Values
- How will equity be described as a core component in the context of the overall mission/goal?
- How will equity be embedded into the process of how the effort will be developed?
- How will equity be embedded into its implementation?
- How will decisions be made or influenced by communities that have less political power or voice?
- How will implementation lead to equity outcomes?
- What explicit equity outcomes will be described?
2. Measurement and Analysis
- How will equity progress be measured?
- How will we know that equity goals and community benefits will be achieved?
This report outlines a variety of concepts that still need much more exploration, development and experimentation. As that unfolds, Greenlining’s Six Standards for Equitable Investment and the Making Equity Real Framework should be applied across the development and implementation of the Four Components of Sustaining Clean Mobility Equity Programs that are laid out below.
Four Components of Sustaining Clean Mobility Equity Programs
The analysis outlined above helped identify four central components of a funding sustainability strategy that we will describe in more detail below:
1. Secure Reliable, Equitable Funding
2. Cultivate Community Partnerships
3. Improve Cash Flow
4. Augment Revenue Sources
Together, these four components aim to support the long-term sustainability both of the overarching clean mobility equity programs and of the specific mobility services and projects that they fund. However, bolstering each of these components will require policy and structural fixes from the top down and from the bottom up. To foster long-term sustainability of both programs and communities, we first need to prioritize the development of community vision, priorities and partnerships.
While many of these examples are California-focused, the recommendations included can also apply to other states and the federal government as they develop their own clean mobility equity programs.