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SaMo Doesn't Want to Wait on Metro For Bike Share Program

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Metro's vast proposed bikeshare program, which would span the county, is still in the works, but Santa Monica could beat them to the punch. Next week, the Santa Monica City Council will be deciding whether or not to sign a $10.4-million contract with a company called CycleHop to create a 500-bike bike share system for the city. Bike shares allow users to pick up a bike, do their cycling business, and then drop the bike off at any other bike share station; it's estimated SaMo would have anywhere from 65 to 75 stations across town, says the Santa Monica Daily Press, so riders would have plenty of options.

The proposed fees would have riders paying $2 per 20 minutes of cycle time, with monthly memberships available for $15 to $25 a month. If things move quickly, the bike share could be ready by the time the Expo Line extension to downtown Santa Monica opens next year. It's estimated that 370,000 trips would be taken on the bikes every year.

Meanwhile, Metro's working on its own large, multi-city bike share program (which would have 840 bikes and 84 stations); their proposal calls for initial hubs in Pasadena, Downtown LA, Long Beach, and ... Santa Monica. The agency has asked SaMo to hold off on signing a contract until they decide what to do with their own program, but SaMo's chomping at the bit to get something off the ground, as their program would be partly funded by grant money that's got an expiration date (they're also looking into additional corporate sponsorship).