Our Mobility Wallet pilot is expanding countywide and applications are now open!

In Los Angeles County, without access to transportation, people don’t have access to opportunity. Last year, Metro teamed up with Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) and launched a program that provides funds to low-income residents to help them get where they want to go and help close this gap.  

What is it? The Mobility Wallet –– a prepaid debit card that recipients can use to pay for transit, taxis, ride share services, intercity bus and rail, shared scooters and bikes and bike shops.   

Today, it’s the largest program of its kind in the nation. The pilot falls under the wider umbrella of Universal Basic Mobility, a program led by City of Los Angeles to expand transportation options and provides a minimum level of mobility to all members of society regardless of age, ability, location, and socioeconomic status. The program is funded by California Air Resources Board (CARB) grant through the City of LA and a Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) 2.0 grant by Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). 

Phase I of the program, which ran between May 2023 to April 2024 focused on 1000 low-income residents of South LA. An initial survey of participants revealed that 80 percent of the population were enrolled in financial assistance programs. Forty percent of them lived in a non-car household; 50 percent didn’t have a driver’s license and over 60 percent of people regularly took public transportation. Each month, Metro loaded the wallets with $150 to use on public transit or private on-demand mobility options (carshare, ride-hailing, taxi, and shared scooter/bikes). 

The program made waves. We saw the following purchase activity on the cards: 

Participants spent over $1.36M in total, the most popular types of trips included the following  

  • 140K bus and rail trips 
  • 60.7K trips via Ride hail/taxi/Access services 
  • 80.8K trips via Public Transit (Bus/Rail)  
  • 2.6K trips via shared scooters and bikes 
  • 169 bike shop purchases  

The feedback from our Phase I customer feedback survey were overwhelmingly positive:  

“It made things easier for me and my family to get around the city like school, work or any doctor appointments,” one participant said.   

“We didn’t have to worry about how we were going to pay our fares when our money was tight,” said another.  

“This program made transportation a joy. I plan on buying a prepaid card in the future” said a third.  

“Thankful to be a part of the Mobility Wallet program!” another participant wrote. “Especially with the Cost of living increasing & I don’t drive. Not having to worry if I had enough money to buy my monthly bus pass and grateful to able to use Uber when it’s raining or just able to go explore knowing that I’m able to get back home.” 

Application for Phase II is now open and will remain open until August. Phase II provides participants up to $1800 to spend on shared transportation services like: Metro Bus, Metro Rail, Metro Micro, Bikeshare, Metrolink, E-scooters, bikes, taxi Services, regional transportation services (Greyhound, Amtrak, and FlixBus), and ride-hailing services (Uber/Lyft) and at local bike shops for merchandise purchases.  To be eligible, you must meet the income requirements for our LIFE (Low Income Fare is Easy) program. Details about that here: 

  • You must be at least 18 years old. 
  • You must live in the Los Angeles County  
  • You must not have previously participated in Phase I of the pilot 
  • You must meet the program’s household annual income requirement, which is based on the LIFE (Low Income Fare is Easy) program shown below:   

Household Size | Annual Income

1 person  | $48,550 or less 

2 person  | $55,450 or less 

3 person  | $62,400 or less 

4 person  | $69,350 or less 

5 person  | $74,900 or less 

6 person  | $80,450 or less 

If you meet the requirements to apply, eligible participants will be randomly selected. Find more details at metro.net/mobilitywallet1  

For more information, contact mobilitywallet@metro.net 

Categories: Transportation News

5 replies

  1. Sounds like a good idea something that I could probably use
    How can I try for eligibility
    Thank you for the info

  2. Do participants pay their Metro fares directly with the debit card, or did they have to load it onto a Tap card first?

    • From the understanding of both the article and application, if selected, you have the option to either choose physical or virtual debit card, the card is loaded with money and from there you’ll have to use that money to load a TAP card.

      The reason for this is because the debit card is used for multiple purposes, not just transit, hence the need for a separate transit card.

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