Thu, Jul

Electric shuttle service Circuit gives free rides in Leimert Park

The Circuit electric shuttle makes a stop in Leimert Park Village. Photo by Jason Lewis


This service helps locals get to places of need without causing pollution.  

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By Blake Carter

Leimert Park has a new shuttle service that is free to the public.  This service is provided by Circuit, an all-electric community shuttle service, and is sponsored by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.  

This app-based service allows locals to catch a ride from the zero-emissions electric shuttle and be dropped off at any point in the coverage area.  This free service is in partnership with several local community-based organizations.

"We Love Leimert is excited to be a part of the team that has introduced free and low cost electric shuttles and bikes into our community,” said Kaya Dantzler, a community organizer in South Los Angeles.  “We hope to stimulate and satisfy folks' curiosity about EV, AR, and VR technology in South Central LA with LACI's EV Pilot program and Ben Caldwell's Sankofa City Program. We know that Afro Diasporic communities locally and globally are hit hard by environmental racism and stand to lose the most if climate injustice perpetuates. It's also well known that Black millennials are tech trailblazers, so it's dope that our community has this opportunity to tinker with and adopt new technologies as a method to address the material and social challenges we face. We see this program as another step towards contributing to a necessary framework that always combines art with science and technology as foundation to build a better and more equitable future for Black communities."    

The shuttle stops by South LA Cafe on Western Avenue, just north of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

This service is greatly beneficial for people who do not have access to cars, but they need to travel around their community for basic needs.

“We have quite a few people who use the service to get to grocery stores or local restaurants in the area, and the second biggest destination is local shopping,” said Alyssa Haerle, director of transit development at Circuit.  “In communities of color, they are disproportionally affected by pollution, air quality, access to health care, access to food in an area that doesn’t have as many walkable options for people who do not have a car.  It’s important to provide mobility options for them to get to health care, grocery stores, and also to encourage people to shop in the local area.”

Many people have used this free service as a way to cut down on the costs of ride-share services such as Uber and Lyft.

“We had somebody ride the service who said that she could have paid $30 to take an Uber to Marina Del Rey, but instead she was picked up in a Circuit, which took her to the bus stop on Slauson, and she took the bus all the way to the Marina,” Haerle said.  “So it helps people get to public transit, and it provides more cost effective and cleaner ways to get to where they need to go.”

There are multiple shuttles driving through the Leimert Park area, and Haerle said that the wait time to be picked up is usually five to ten minutes.  She also said that the drivers are hired locally, so they are familiar or live in the area.  

This is a pilot program that is co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.  It was launched in November, and Circuit is looking to extend the program and the coverage area.  The service operates on Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  To summon a ride, download the Ride Circuit app, or text (310) 737-2299.  For more information, visit www.ridecircuit.com