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Archive for the ‘Bike Share’ Category

Santa Monica’s bikeshare pilot features SoBi “smart bike” technology.

The Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved a city staff report on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 for the purchase, installation, and operation of a 500-bicycle bikeshare system. The City of Santa Monica will contract with CycleHop to bring a bikeshare network of up to 75 stations to Santa Monica by Summer 2015, in plenty of time for the debut of Expo Line Phase II. The bikeshare network will provide a crucial “first/last mile” solution between Santa Monica residents and Metro’s light rail system.

Santa Monica residents got a sneak peek of a pilot bikshare station outside Santa Monica City Hall. Passersby were able to test ride the green “smart bikes”, manufactured by Social Bicycles (SoBi). The bikes feature 8-speeds for climbing inclines, real-time GPS, and a payment system located directly on the rear fender of the bicycle.

The fourth generation “smart bikes” come with a u-lock.

Santa Monica hopes to create unique identification for the bikeshare system, keeping the bicycles and stations free of any corporate branding. Design preferences also include the incorporation of the color green to denote sustainability as well as the Metro logo. With countywide bikeshare efforts already in motion, Santa Monica staff wants to keep options open for local expression within a regional system.

The Los Angeles County regional system is being coordinated by Metro and is expected to launch in the Cities of Los Angeles and Pasadena in 2016 with plans for future expansion. Residents, employees, and those who travel through Downtown Los Angeles will have the ability to use the bikes to make short trips. The regional bikeshare system will also provide a crucial first/last mile solution for those traveling along the Metro Rail system from Downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach, Pasadena, and Santa Monica.  Staff will present the findings and recommendations of the Regional Bikeshare Implementation Plan to the Metro Board in January.

The Santa Monica Council will also meet in January to further review recommended designs and suggested station locations. Until then, staff will move forward with contract negotiations with CycleHop, while also securing sponsorships, finalizing options for the proposed rate and membership structure, and sorting out the associated parking ordinances.

Locals were excited to test out the bikes!

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A photo from Bike Nation’s Anaheim launch

We’d like to extend a warm virtual welcome to the newest bicycle-oriented blog in Los Angeles – the Bike Nation Blog. Look to Bike Nation’s new blog for all the latest Bike Nation related announcements and planned community events. The site has a lot of useful information including a guide to the Bike Nation bicycle, a step-by-step overview of how to rent a bike from a kiosk, archived news articles, and a calendar for planned community events. An exciting new feature that will launch in the coming days will allow users to recommend their ideal locations for bike share stations, similar to what was done for the Citi Bike bike share system in New York City. Bike Nation’s planned expansion into Los Angeles will consist of 400 kiosks with 6,500 docking stations, and 10,000 bicycles, making it the second largest system in the country. Look for Bike Nation (and a number of other Los Angeles bicycle related links) under our Resources tab.

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