Anaheim has bike sharing. Kansas City has bike sharing. Even Spartanburg, South Carolina, has bike sharing.
Are we the only city in America without a bike-share program? Liberal, tree-hugging, bike-lane-crazed Los Angeles?
Our friendly transportation overlords at the Metro board voted yesterday to award an $11 million bike-share contract to Bicycle Transit Systems Inc.
The program will bring 1,100 bicycles to 65 bike-share stations in downtown Los Angeles starting next spring, says the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, who chairs Metro's board.
The deal also will expand Metro-sponsored bike sharing to Pasadena in 2017 and, eventually, to eight other communities in Los Angeles County, Garcetti's people say.
The program will eventually roll out 4,000 bicycles.
The first downtown-area bikes will be available at Union Station, the Convention Center, Staples Center, Grand Park, the Seventh Street Metro stop, Grand Central Market, Pershing Square, the Arts District, the future Figueroa Cycle Track corridor and USC, according to a statement.
“Riding a bike is another option people can use to commute to work or explore the region,” Garcetti says. This “marks the first step in Metro's plan to bring bike-share to cities across the county.”
Tamika Butler, executive director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, says she's glad L.A.'s bike-share program will be handled by our public transportation agency:
Metro’s commitment to treating bike-share as an extension of the transit system lays the foundation for Los Angeles to have one of the most equitable bike-share systems in the country, one that is truly accessible and affordable to the communities that will benefit most. It is critically important that Angelenos’ first experience with bike-share is seamlessly integrated throughout Los Angeles County, and we encourage all agencies to collaboratively seek compatibility across multiple systems. We commend Metro for taking a leadership role and look forward to the successful deployment of a regional system.