Bike sharing is officially coming to downtown Los Angeles next year.
The Los Angeles City Council recently voted to approve a program that will have City Hall partner with Metro, the transportation agency, in order to bring 1,090 bicycles to more than 65 bike-share stations downtown by 2016.
Bicycle Transit Systems Inc. and partner BCycle will implement the program, according to the office of downtown area Councilman Jose Huizar.
His people say a 2012 plan to do the same thing — bring a long-awaited bike-share program to the city's core — failed. So this one is special.
"This bike-sharing program is a long time coming for DTLA and the city of Los Angeles," Huizar said. "We have been leading the fight to bring more pedestrian and bicycle uses to the city, particularly in downtown, where many of its 53,000 residents live car-free lives. Our bike-sharing service will greatly benefit them, as well as the many workers, visitors and tourists who come to DTLA each and every day."
The city will cover 65 percent of the costs of the program with Metro covering the rest, according to Huizar's people.
Naming rights for the entire "bike-share system" will go to Metro, while the city gets to collect cash from advertisers who want to plaster their messages on bike-share stations, they said.
Organizers of the program ultimately want users to be able to use cards as part of a "unified payment system to the county’s rail, bus and bike-share systems," Huizar's office said in a statement.
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"It defies logic that snowy cities around the country have had bike-share for years, but a city like Los Angeles, with our wonderful weather and communities begging to be biked, still hasn’t gotten this done yet," said Councilman Mike Bonin, who supported the proposal to implement downtown bike-sharing. "I’m excited this is happening in L.A., and I can’t wait for it to reach the Westside in the near future."
Huizar says the plan is to eventually expand bike-sharing to Hollywood, Mid-City, North Hollywood, Venice and beyond.