Looks like Santa Monica's bike share program—the first to debut in Los Angeles County—will be brought to you (with limited commercial interruption) by Hulu. The Santa Monica City Council is expected to vote today to make Hulu the "presenting sponsor" of their Breeze bike share program when it fully launches next month, reports Santa Monica Next. As part of the five-year deal, Hulu would provide $675,000 in operational costs each year in exchange for having their logo on the bikes. As per the city council's wishes, Hulu will only be able to place their logo on the front baskets and skirt guards of Breeze bikes; the bike hubs, where bikes can be picked up and dropped off, are off limits for corporate logos.
Hulu is being tapped as sponsor for its ties to the Santa Monica area (and probably also for its loads of cash)—the streaming service employs more than 500 people at its Santa Monica based office. The staff report for the sponsorship motion touts Hulu as one of "the innovative companies that have earned Santa Monica its 'Silicon Beach' moniker."
City officials were looking for a minimum corporate sponsorship of $250,000 when they set up the program last year, but Hulu stepped in big with its $675,000. Despite the extra for corporate sponsorship, pricing for the bike share will remain the same. The extra money will be used to offset the deficits expected to accrue while membership is still being built up, and some of the extra money may also be invested in subsidized bike helmet kiosks. Meanwhile, officials have promised to track and review revenues to see if adjustments in price can be made in the future.
The Breeze program launched a test run in August with about 30 bikes at seven hubs. When the full system comes online in November, 500 bikes will become available at 80 hubs. The Breeze bikes are "smart bikes," meaning users can lock them up anywhere they choose and staff is able to track them down and return them to their hubs for a surcharge.
·City Council Could Tap Hulu as "Presenting Sponsor" for Breeze Bike Share [SMN]
· Contract with Hulu, LLC, to establish Hulu as the Presenting Sponsor for the Breeze Bike Share system [City Report]
· First Bike Share Program in LA Has Launched in Santa Monica [Curbed LA]
· Santa Monica's Bike Share Rides Could Start at $6 Per Hour [Curbed LA]