For Immediate Release: November 22, 2022
LOS ANGELES -- Today, Councilmembers Nithya Raman, Mike Bonin, and Bob Blumenfield introduced a motion to ensure the outdoor advertising revenue generated under the City of LA’s new Sidewalk and Transit Amenities Program (STAP) contract are directly reinvested into improvements for the public rights-of-way, which can increase safety and accessibility for transit riders and people walking. STAP provides and maintains street furniture, including transit shelters that provide riders with protection from increasingly extreme weather conditions.
“Earlier this year, we saw a clear mandate led by safe streets and mobility justice advocates for urgency in implementing the City’s Mobility Plan equitably and expeditiously — and a marked commitment from the Council to meet that demand,” said Councilmember Raman. “Sufficiently funding improvements that make our public rights-of-way safe and comfortable for Angelenos who walk and ride transit is an essential step in doing so.”
The motion proposes a new citywide fund and program drawn from advertising revenue to directly support staffing, administration, planning, design, and implementation for improvements including: transit access (bus boarding islands, curb ramps, etc), pedestrian access and safety (new sidewalk construction, pedestrian lighting), street furniture amenities (water stations, shade structures, bike parking structures, parklets), and street trees.
"Creating this new fund will put the City's money where we say our priorities are: making our streets more accessible and comfortable for people who walk, bike, and take transit," said Councilmember Mike Bonin, Chair of the Transportation Committee. "The City shouldn't ask communities to tolerate commercial advertising on public infrastructure while failing to reinvest that revenue back into the streets that generated it. Safe, comfortable, and accessible bus stops and sidewalks are more than amenities--they are essential public infrastructure."
The fund, titled Reinvestment in Accessibility, Infrastructure and Streetscape Enhancements for Los Angeles (RAISE LA), diverges from the City’s previous street furniture contract, which allocated half of advertising revenues to the City’s General Fund, with the remaining half allocated to the Street Furniture Revenue Fund for individual Council District discretion in spending.
“Creating a new STAP program that is set around more equitable and accessible transit shelters was not easy but we got it done. One of the key pillars of our plan is to ensure that more shelters come with improved infrastructure,” said Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, Chair of the Public Works Committee. “This motion will help solidify that goal and I’m grateful to my colleagues for sharing the urgency to make this program a success.”
The motion further requests City departments to report back after a year of having the new STAP contract in place with a recommended plan to equitably address deficiencies in transit and first-last mile mobility safety, security, and accessibility with RAISE LA funds. Finally, the motion instructs relevant City staff to prepare language needed to change existing code and to officially create the fund.