Officials on Wednesday heralded a new day for bike-to-transit integration with the opening of two new BikeStations on transit lines, an innovative solution likely to be eyed very closely in other cities.
Bikestation Claremont and BikeStation Covina, both located at stations on Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line, are fundamentally different than others you bike commuters may have utilized locally in Long Beach or Santa Barbara. Those BikeStations and others in cities like Seattle and Washington, D.C. are actually staffed by people.
The new concept BikeStations, however, are unattended, but still offer 24/7 secure bicycle parking to pre-registered bike commuters via electronically secure door and video monitoring to keep bikes from getting stolen. The idea is, BikeStation knows who you are, and they’re watching, so don’t even think about it. This should come as welcome news to local cyclists given the reported spike in bicycle thefts in the region.
During an early morning ribbon cutting ceremony at the Claremont Metrolink Station, officials referred to the two facilities as “bicycle transit centers” and deemed them the nation’s first integrated bike transit system. The new stations reduce the need for parking at transit stations, and overall can help improve the efficiency of the public transit system.
“We’re creating bicyclists and transit users with this facility,” said Andrea White-Kjoss, CEO of Mobis Transportation/BikeStation.
Following the Claremont ribbon-cutting ceremony, a group of about 35 enthusiastic bicyclists rode 12 miles to BikeStation Covina at the Covina Metrolink Station for its own official ribbon-cutting.
While the Claremont BikeStation was part of the historic train depot in downtown Claremont and offered other amenities such as restrooms, on-site tools and a bike stand, the Covina BikeStation is a bit more modest. It provides 36 secure bicycle parking spaces. The modular facility is 10 x 25 square-feet and located in the station’s parking lot. However, additional modules can be added to keep pace with demand at the station, one of Metrolink’s busiest in Southern California.
“While some of these programs can take a long time to implement, the Bikestation is a fast, cost-effective project that can benefit the people of Covina right away,” said Covina Mayor Walter Allen.
BikeStation says it has big plans for these facilities nationwide. They expect 200 Bikestations to be operational in American cities within the next five years.
Kjoss says there are plans for additional BikeStations here in L.A. County. Plans are progressing for staffed Bikestations in Pasadena, Norwalk, Santa Monica and North Hollywood.