LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As growing traffic congestion in Los Angeles approaches pre-pandemic levels, MoceanLab, a future-focused mobility laboratory for L.A., has expanded its free-floating carshare service to the City’s Westside, one of the nation’s most congested areas.
Mocean Carshare enables drivers to quickly and conveniently rent a hybrid-electric vehicle at an affordable price – comparable to the cost of renting an electric scooter. This on-demand service helps reduce congestion on the street and at the curb; research shows a single shared car can eliminate the need for between seven and 11 privately owned vehicles. Beginning today, approximately 25 low-emission hybrid vehicles are available to rent in West L.A., from San Vicente to Olympic.
“We are excited to serve even more Angelenos with our vision of mobility innovation that improves lives and expands opportunity for everyone,” said Dave Gallon, MoceanLab’s Chief Operating Officer. “Mocean Carshare’s rollout on the Westside will unlock a convenient new option to help Angelenos get around in a safe, sustainable and equitable way.”
Mocean Carshare’s expansion helps meet an urgent demand for mobility solutions throughout the city. Motorists are increasingly returning to the roads as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, with schools and workplaces slowly resuming in-person activities. Last year – at a time when many people were staying home – drivers in L.A. still lost an average of 45 hours to traffic congestion, at the cost of $663.94 per motorist, according to the traffic data firm INRIX.
With the support of Councilmember Mike Bonin, the Westside expansion follows a successful rollout of Mocean Carshare in Downtown Los Angeles and Eagle Rock/Highland Park over the last year. Councilmember Bonin joined the MoceanLab team, local stakeholders and other community members in the heart of Sawtelle Japantown on Thursday to formally kick off the new service.
“Gridlock in West Los Angeles hurts our economy and diminishes quality of life for everyone in the community,” said L.A. City Councilmember Mike Bonin, who also serves on the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board. “We welcome Mocean Carshare as a promising alternative to traditional private vehicle ownership that provides reliable access to environmentally responsible mobility at an affordable cost.”
Mocean Carshare is the only transportation service in Los Angeles that enables drivers to pick up and drop off vehicles anywhere in a designated home zone, providing maximum convenience and flexibility for users. MoceanLab has been in steady contact with the local community and will remain closely engaged as the service progresses.
Mocean Carshare is operated by MoceanLab, a mobility laboratory that exclusively serves Los Angeles. Backed by the global resources and expertise of the Hyundai Motor Group, MoceanLab aims to build, curate and support sustainable, equitable, and accessible transportation advances. The new Westside home zone, which spans a large area in the City of Los Angeles west of the 405 freeway and east of the Santa Monica city border, is part of a broader plan to expand Mocean Carshare to other high-density areas in the L.A. area where need and demand are greatest, complementing public transit options already available.
"My personal opinion is that traffic congestion in West L.A. is an ongoing struggle for anyone who navigates our streets,” said Jamie Keeton, Chair, West Los Angeles Sawtelle Neighborhood Council. “Mocean Carshare is the type of innovative solution we need to give people access to all that our city has to offer. I appreciate that Mocean Carshare is looking to be a long-term community partner, and look forward to working with MoceanLab to make getting around L.A. as easy as opening a mobile app.”
After downloading the Mocean Carshare app and registering for the service, eligible drivers can book vehicles in designated home zones. From there, customers simply unlock the car and drive, returning it to a designated home zone when finished. Drivers must be 18 or older, have a valid driver’s license, and have a safe driving record. All told, Mocean Carshare prices are comparable to scooter rentals – four wheels for the cost of two.
“From the coordination with local communities to this thoughtful service expansion, Mocean Carshare exemplifies the type of innovative mobility solution Los Angeles needs,” said Sam Morrissey, Executive Director of Urban Movement Labs, which MoceanLab joined as an advisory partner late last year. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact this new service makes for people seeking improved transportation options without the need to own a personal vehicle.”
Giving back to L.A.’s communities is a key pillar of MoceanLab’s work. Over the last year, MoceanLab has donated the use of its cars to support the USC Keck School of Medicine’s Street Medicine Team to bring in-person medical care to unhoused Angelenos, and to South LA Cafe to be used to deliver meals to vulnerable residents. Vehicles have also been available to first responders at a 50% discount throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
“Since Hyundai Motor Group launched MoceanLab in 2019, we have committed to building and executing a future-focused plan to serve the mobility needs of Angelenos far and wide,” said MoceanLab CEO and Hyundai Motor Company Vice President Hugh Lee. “We are excited to share the Mocean Carshare service with even more L.A. residents. We celebrate this important milestone and look forward to creating more home zones in the greater Los Angeles area and continuing to deliver on our mission now and in the years ahead.”