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LA's Bike Share Program Held Up By Ad War With Billboard Cos.

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The LA Times is reporting that the huge bike share program that Bike Nation had hoped to bring to Los Angeles this summer is pretty majorly delayed while it figures out its sponsorship thing, which we knew, but now there's a real snag in the works. The company had hoped to launch a pilot program with six kiosks at key sites Downtown, and earlier this year the city put a regulatory framework into place under which Bike Nation could apply for permits and start operating. This was all going to happen at no expense to the tax-payer because Bike Nation was counting on lining up a sponsor who could plaster the kiosks with advertising, and that is where the trouble lies. It turns out that Bike Nation can't sell that advertising space because the city already has a contract with CBS Outdoor and JCDeceaux to sell ads on all "street furniture," and--despite not looking like a comfortable place to have a cup of tea--bike kiosks are considered furniture. Bike Nation COO Derek Fretheim says he's had interest from some big companies, and seems to hope he can work out some arrangement to let the plan proceed, but it's going to take time, and the scheme won't get up and running until at least 2014.
· L.A. bike-sharing program hits a snag [LA Times]
· LA's Huge Bike Share Program Seeking Fortune 500 Sponsor [Curbed LA]