In efforts to jumpstart the shared use of bicycles for short distance trips, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) on Aug. 18 announced it is seeking public suggestions on potential bike share locations in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Pasadena as part of a new pilot program.
As the agency responsible for coordinating an interoperable countywide bike sharing implementation plan, Metro has developed an interactive Google map consisting of strategically placed bikeshare stations within the pilot cities where bicycles can be borrowed on a short-term basis. The map is available online.
Web site users can zoom into the map to view exact locations of proposed bike sharing stations. Users who know of a good location for a bikeshare station can then “pin it” on the map, and a new pin will appear in purple. If a location has already been suggested, the user can indicate that they ‘like’ it or submit their own input about the location by leaving a comment on the existing pin.
Bikeshare stations are located near key destinations, including rail and bus stations that are within accessible distance of other bikeshare stations to help people make trips.
Metro has limited the location of pins to areas that are exclusively within the four pilot city areas. Users that have other suggestions for bikeshare locations can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration in subsequent program phases.
Final bikeshare station locations will be determined by Metro, pilot cities and their bikeshare operator. Locations will be determined based on availability of space, right-of-way, disabled patron access, demand and other factors. Input will be accepted through September 8, 2014.
“We're expanding our transportation options to reduce traffic and improve quality of life for everyone in L.A County,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “We all want to get around more easily, and, with the public's help, we will build a regional bike share program that crosses city borders and gives us a new way to go from place to place.”
Metro’s implementation plan team is studying business models that identify how user and advertising fees, corporate sponsorships, and/or grant funding can support bike share operations. As part of the pilot, Metro will coordinate closely with early adopter jurisdictions before completing its plan. Following completion, Metro will then move to procure, contract and administer the regional bikeshare program anticipated to launch in 2016.
Santa Monica will be implementing a Metro grant-funded bike share system of at least 350 bikes in anticipation of Expo Light Rail opening and in support of local and regional sustainability, transit access and congestion reduction goals.
“The system is anticipated to be available in 2015, serving areas throughout Santa Monica and up to five locations in adjacent areas,” said Francie Stefan, Strategic and Transportation Planning Manager for the City of Santa Monica. “Coordination with Metro, local and sub- regional partners are supporting integrated implementation so that the system is of greatest benefit to users.”
“The Ccity of Pasadena is excited to partner with Metro in advancing a bike share program that will provide increased access to our Gold Line stations and our many local destinations,” said Mark Yamarone, Transportation Planning Administrator for Pasadena. “Bike sharing is an important component in helping Pasadena meet its goal to be a city where people can circulate without a car.”
Bike share programs throughout the United States have proven successful in providing people with first and last-mile short trip transportation options that help reduce local vehicle trips. When complemented with transit, these bike sharing platforms help reduce travel times, improve access and spur the growth of bicycling as an increasingly viable transportation mode.