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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Ledet

The History and Future of Transform’s Pioneering Mobility Hubs Pilot

Updated: Jun 18


In 2018, Transform, in partnership with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), got a grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to design and implement mobility hubs at three affordable housing sites in the Bay Area. 


Mobility hubs are sites where residents can access multiple mobility options and often include green transportation such as bikeshare, carshare, and public transit. However, these hubs are often inaccessible to low-income residents who live in areas poorly served by transit and other mobility options. Transform’s revolutionary pilot project places mobility hubs onsite in affordable housing communities, using input and active participation from residents to determine the types of transportation provided and the shape of the program.


And then the pandemic happened


Transform completed a needs assessment in 2018 and 2019, working closely with residents to develop plans for Mobility Hubs to help them get around. Our needs assessment was so successful in helping CARB deliver better services to underserved communities that it now mandates them for all its Clean Mobility projects.


And then, in March of 2020, everyone stopped going anywhere.


As with so many other things, the pandemic paused the Mobility Hubs pilot and extended the timeline we needed to implement the recommendations from the needs assessment and refine the program on the ground.


However, by 2023, we were able to begin assembling Site Level Teams made up of residents and, working with our partners, start to implement Mobility Hubs.


Affordable mobility can be life-changing


The three pilot sites for Mobility Hubs are in Oakland, San Jose, and Richmond. Lion Creek Crossings is a 567-unit development operated by the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) near the Coliseum BART station. Betty Ann Gardens is 76 units owned by First Community Housing (FCH) in the Berryessa neighborhood of San Jose near the Berryessa BART station that opened in 2020. In Richmond, we’re creating a Mobility Hubs project in the Nystrom Neighborhood, defined by the City of Richmond’s revitalization plan for the area, which has 1,158 housing units.



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We meet regularly with the Site Level Team members and the Richmond Community Foundation to get feedback on how well the hub’s benefits serve them and their neighbors and brainstorm ways to improve services. Each location has different amenities based on the needs assessment.





Site Level Team members at Lion Creek Crossings, where residents can receive discounted AC Transit bus passes and monthly credits toward Lyft rides, cited the lack of convenient bus stop locations and the need to carry home groceries as barriers to using the bus passes for some. The Lyft rides were effective in helping them get to medical appointments or pick up children from school. 




A recent event at Betty Ann Gardens unveiled an electric car-sharing program, community bicycles and bike repair training, secured bike storage, Lyft ride credits, and a signboard displaying arrival times for nearby public transit. One resident spoke about the benefit of EV sharing as a way to drive without paying high gas prices. A Site Level Team member who is a student and a single mother described how reliable transportation helped her do everything she needs to do to take care of herself and her family.


The Richmond site has had community bike rides and bike giveaways. We’ve increased participation in the Lyft credits program and will be promoting that and raffling an e-bike at Richmond’s Juneteenth celebration on June 22. 


Green transportation is better for everyone


Mobility Hubs is emblematic of Transform’s mission to fight climate change through transportation and housing equity. As a region and a society, we can’t overcome the challenges we face because of climate change with expensive solutions that only financially well-off people can afford. 


People of all income levels appreciate the benefits of cleaner mobility options, if they are within reach, financially and geographically. The Mobility Hubs pilot demonstrates the power of giving people affordable, green mobility options. It changes their lives and moves us one step closer to mitigating the climate crisis.


Over the next seven months, we will be wrapping up these three pilot projects, but we hope they are the first of many long-term mobility hubs at affordable housing locations. We are eager to partner with other organizations to bring this model to more people across California and the U.S.



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