SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento officials are increasing transportation access for low-income residents, all while helping the environment.
The Clean Cars 4 All program was created two years ago with a goal to help Sacramento transition into zero-emission vehicles. The program puts a focus on helping disadvantaged communities get rid of their unreliable and older cars.
"We have different community members who are operating cars here that are just not reliable and they're just spending a lot of money and time to maintain them and, really, it's just bad for the environment," said Jaime Lemus, the division manager for the transportation and climate change division at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.
According to its website, underserved neighborhoods are "disproportionately impacted by pollution from gasoline consumption and production." Many of these communities are also closer to busy roads and freeways, which leads to constant exposure to pollution-related illnesses.
Under the program, income-qualified people can trade in their older cars that still run on gas for up to $9,500 to pay toward a hybrid or electric vehicle. Participants can also opt-in for transit cards instead.
There's another incentive, too. Eligible participants can also receive up to $2,000 to get a charger installed in their homes or receive a credit card to charge their vehicles anywhere in the city.
So far, Lemus said the program has been able to run smoothly with continuous funding and has seen a lot of success. To date, the program has been able to help 500 people get their new vehicles. The program is currently slated to receive an additional $2 million, which will help even more people get opportunities they didn't think they could access.
"We have technology gaps, we have generational gaps (and) income bracket gaps," Lemus said. "We have to do what we can in order to make these different types of innovative technologies available."
You can take the eligibility quiz to find out if you can receive some cash for a hybrid or electric vehicle HERE.