In the latest major announcement designed to improve transportation options in the L.A. region, Metro and the city of Los Angeles today announced they will officially launch Metro’s bike sharing program in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, July 7.
Up to 1,000 bicycles will be available at up to 65 strategically placed downtown L.A. locations, serving Union Station, City Hall, Grand Park, the L.A. Convention Center, South Park, Chinatown, the Arts District, the Fashion District, Little Tokyo and more. Many bike share stations will be placed in close proximity to the Metro Rail and Bus network, giving transit riders direct access to Metro bikes to easily combine bicycle and transit trips.
“We are excited that L.A. will officially join the bike share revolution that is now giving city dwellers across the nation new ways to explore their urban communities,” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “Marrying bicycle and transit trips will go a long way in supporting healthy lifestyles, easing traffic on downtown streets and, perhaps most importantly, getting Angelenos where they need to go in an efficient and affordable manner.” People who live, work and play in downtown L.A. are encouraged to sign up for a Metro bike share pass in advance of the launch at www.metro.net/bikeshare. The system will be accessible exclusively to pass holders from July 7 until August 1, 2016, when it will open for all users, including walk-up customers. People who purchase their pass early will get a limited edition Metro Bike Share Kit. The first 1,000 people to sign up will also receive exclusive Metro bike share pins.
The installation of bike share stations throughout downtown L.A. will begin in early June, with work expected to continue until the stations open to the public on July 7.
“We are always looking to help people explore our incredible city in new ways. Now, through Metro’s new bike share program, residents and visitors from around the world can to check out a bike and see downtown L.A. with a fast, fun and affordable system,” said Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Second Vice Chair. “Paired with our city’s new bicycle infrastructure, this is going to make it easier and safer to travel through our city on two wheels.”
Metro will become the first major transportation agency in America to offer a single card that allows access to both transit and bike share systems. To use the bike share system, customers can purchase a monthly or annual flex pass at www.metro.net/bikeshare. New customers will receive their TAP card in the mail. Existing TAP card holders have the option of registering their current TAP card in the system and simply adding bike share access to it.
Pass holders will use their Metro bike share-registered TAP card to access any Metro bike from a dock at a station. Bike share-registered TAP cards identify each user to both Metro bike share and Metro transit lines. As with all TAP cards, transit fares can be loaded onto the bike share-registered TAP card at any Metro ticket vending machine, online at taptogo.net or at any of the hundreds of TAP vending locations across the county.
The Metro bike share fare structure is designed to be flexible and affordable for all users. The agency has created three simple pass options:
- A monthly pass is $20 per month. All trips 30 minutes or less are free and $1.75 per 30 minutes thereafter. This pass option is best if the user expects to take more than five trips per month. People use their registered TAP card to get a bike.
- A Flex Pass is $40 per year. All trips 30 minutes or less are $1.75 and $1.75 per 30 minutes thereafter. This option is best if users expect to take two to five trips per month or want the convenience of using their TAP card to get a bike.
- A Walk-Up is $3.50 for 30 minutes. This option will be available starting August 1. All trips 30 minutes or less are $3.50, and $3.50 per 30 minutes thereafter. An introductory 50 percent discount rate will be offered in August-September. This option is best for tourists and visitors to downtown LA. Users can pay per trip using their credit card at any station kiosk.
Metro and the city of Los Angeles worked closely with downtown L.A. community stakeholders, taking into consideration crowdsourced public input to select initial station locations that will better connect people to key neighborhood destinations. Special consideration was given to locations that created better access to museums, libraries, schools, retail, employment, residential areas and transit hubs. A map of current station locations is now available at www.metro.net/bikeshare. Users are encouraged to check back often, as new station locations will be added regularly.
Metro is now offering an exclusive naming and branding rights partnership for its bike share program. The sponsorship opportunity will enable a single company to advertise its products on the bicycles on a 24/7, year-round basis with dense coverage in downtown L.A. and future expansion planned for Pasadena, the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, Huntington Park, East Los Angeles and elsewhere across the region.
The system will be operated by Bicycle Transit Systems, with bikes and stations provided by BCycle, a unit of Trek Bicycles of Wisconsin. These companies have successfully launched and/or operate more than 40 bike share systems in metropolitan areas in the United States and abroad.
Photos of Metro Bike Share are here — please feel free to download and use.