El Monte Bike Hub opens, featuring Metro’s first secure bike parking station

Photos:  Steve Hymon, Luis Inzunza, Jennifer Gill, Dave Sotero, Metro

Officials celebrated the grand opening of the long-awaited but first-of-its kind secure bicycle parking center at El Monte Station on Monday morning.

The bike hub is seen as a major improvement over traditional unattended bicycle racks or bike lockers on Metro’s transit properties. Rather, the hub is a bona fide parking center that has controlled entry, two-tiered racks, retail sales and repair services and bike rentals.  The hub is the latest product of Metro’s Bike Program and similar hubs are headed to four other high-demand Metro transit hubs, including Union Station in the next couple years (see this post for more about the other hubs).

Bonus content: check out this video we posted earlier on Periscope.

Here is the official news release:

The first of five bike stations now planned for L.A.’s Metro System


As part of the The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (Metro) commitment to enhancing bicycle infrastructure in the L.A. region, Metro today celebrated the official opening of its very first “Metro Bike Hub,” a dedicated, full-service, secure-access, high-capacity bicycle parking facility at the El Monte Station, the busiest transit hub in the San Gabriel Valley.

The new $635,000, 1,100+ square-foot facility is conveniently located in prime ground-floor retail space at the front of El Monte Station, the largest bus facility west of Chicago.  The facility will provide a full suite of bicycle-related services including controlled entry for 56 bicycles under closed-circuit TV surveillance, peak-hour staff availability, folding bike rentals, same-day repairs, accessory sales and bike-related classes.  The facility adds 60 percent greater bicycle parking capacity to the station.

Similarly operated Metro Bike Hubs are planned to serve the Hollywood/Vine Metro Red Line Station in mid-2016, and the Culver City Expo Line Station in late 2016.  Larger capacity bike hubs are also planned at Downtown L.A.’s Union Station and the North Hollywood Metro Red/Orange Line Station area.  Metro is seeking to advance the Union Station location in 2016 through available retail space opportunities and is now seeking tenants interested in operating the Bike Hub.  The North Hollywood Metro Bike Hub is being planned to utilize space at the newly renovated Lankershim Depot and surrounding land and is anticipated to open in early 2018.

Bike Hubs provide an attractive option for commuters who typically drive and park at congested Metro park & ride lots especially for those that live within a bikeable distance.  Commuters who bicycle to the station instead may no longer need to take their bicycles on the transit system and have the assurance that their bike is parked in a securely controlled environment.

The El Monte Metro Bike Hub opening marks a new milestone for Metro, which has recently spearheaded new bike initiatives like bike sharing to encourage greater bike-to-transit connections. Taken together, secure bike parking facilities and bikeshare provide new opportunities for Metro to expand bike transit commuting options.  To date, the agency has only funded similar bike parking facilities in select cities including BikeStation Long Beach and the Santa Monica Bike Center. Other agencies in L.A. County that operate secure bike stations serving Metrolink stations include Burbank, Claremont and Covina. Metro has now officially gotten into the bike station building business.  Collectively, all planned Bike Hubs will add nearly 700 new safe, secure bicycle parking amenities at key transit hubs on the Metro system.

“This is the first time Metro has built a dedicated, secure-access bike parking facility directly at a transit station, and no better place to do it than at the El Monte Transit Station – one of our largest and busiest stations” said Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair.  “This bike hub is a win-win. It will make our system more bike friendly and allow more commuters to ditch their cars. Not only that, it will reduce air pollution, and offer our commuters quick and easy access to this regionally important transit hub.”

Similar to Metro’s current bike locker program, Bike Hub access will be available for registered users who pay a small $5 weekly, $12 monthly or $60 yearly fee. The low fee structure is designed to appeal to a wide range of customers from occasional bicycle riders, seasonal riders, regular commuters and non-commuters. Only registered users can park in the facility, which is accessible 24/7 and where surveillance cameras and intrusion detection provide added security measures. Users can register online at metro.net/bikehub or on-site. Users then present their driver’s license or Metro Bike Hub card to enter the facility. Users are responsible for locking their bike and gear to the racks.

“Bike hubs represent Metro’s latest efforts to create a balanced transportation system in L.A. County, giving people new ways to connect with the Metro System,” said Phillip A. Washington, Metro CEO.  “These new hubs will help solve our customers’ most stubborn first mile/last mile transportation challenges. Commuters will increasingly have greater opportunities to combine bicycle and transit trips as we expand the network of Metro Bike Hubs throughout our region.”

Metro has contracted with “BikeHub,” the nation’s largest bike station operator to provide controlled access parking and operations for El Monte Station. The Culver City Expo Line and Hollywood/Vine Red line Bike Hubs are also part of the same contract.  Future bike hubs at the North Hollywood Metro Red Line Station and at Union Station will be constructed under subsequent procurements.

BikeHub utilizes cutting edge access-control technology that the company says will ensure unparalleled security and customer service.  Its system employs a space-efficient design that provides full repair and retail services in a small space, as well as cost-efficient staffing during the peak hours of 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., which includes face-to-face interactions with 90 percent of all patrons on a daily basis to perform repairs, answer questions and provide direct communication and encouragement to new bike commuters.  The company is also a participant of Metro’s new Bike Share project team that will pilot bikesharing in Downtown Los Angeles in mid-2016.

“We’re excited to bring our broad experience in bike transit to Los Angeles County,” said Gene Oh, President of BikeHub. “We’ve combined the cost-savings and convenience of controlled-access bike parking with the benefits of staffed facilities to create a truly unique model that’s in sync with Metro’s transit system.”

El Monte Station is a major regional transfer center that serves 22,000 passengers per day. Bus services include Metro Silver Line, Metro Local, Foothill Transit, El Monte Transit and Greyhound services.  Approximately 1,200 buses depart from the station on a daily basis.  There are approximately 300 bike boardings at the station, which also connects with the Rio Hondo Bicycle Path nearby.

About Bikehub

Bikehub is a planning and operations team that helps clients execute their bike transit projects.  Bikehub is the nation’s largest bike station operator.  Clients include Metro, Bay Area Rapid Transit District, and Caltrain.  Bikehub is also part of the Metro Bike Share team, performing repair and assembly functions for Bicycle Transit Systems (BTS).  For more information, visit www.metro.net/bikehub.

About Metro

Metro is a multimodal transportation agency that is really three companies in one: a major operator that transports about 1.5 million boarding passengers on an average weekday on a fleet of 2,200 clean air buses and six rail lines, a major construction agency that oversees many bus, rail, highway and other mobility related building projects, and it is the lead transportation planning and programming agency for Los Angeles County.  Overseeing one of the largest public works programs in America, Metro is, literally, changing the urban landscape of the Los Angeles region. Dozens of transit, highway and other mobility projects largely funded by Measure R are under construction or in the planning stages. These include five new rail lines, the I-5 widening and other major projects.

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