Not to count our bike-chickens before they hatch (Los Angeles has come so close before!), but it seems like the first wave of LA's bike share—a 65-station pilot program with more than 1,000 bikes—is actually going to happen. The bikes are picked out and a vendor, Bicycle Transit Systems, Inc. with partner BCycle, has been selected. And today the LA City Council voted to approve the pilot's launch, which a release for the decision says will happen "by 2016" (previous estimates said October 2015). UPDATE 8/31: Metro rep Dave Sotero emails to tell Curbed that the bike share will actually launch by the middle of 2016.
Metro and LA will share "capital costs," with Metro footing the bill for 35 percent of net costs on things like maintenance and LA picking up the other 65 percent. They'll also be splitting sponsorships—Metro will keep naming rights (think New York's Citi Bike), while LA will have the advertising rights for the future bike hubs; they'll "be negotiated separately from the [memorandum of understanding] approved today," the release says. (Problems regarding the rights to sell advertising on the hubs did the last bike share effort in.)
When vendors BTS and BCycle were chosen earlier this summer, it was, in part, because they're working on ways to link transit cards to bike sharing in their projects in other cities. Metro has said that the goal is to let bike-sharers use their TAP cards on the bike share, and this release says that "a convenient, unified payment system to the county's rail, bus and bikeshare systems" is still a priority. The release adds that Metro and LA consider the bike share program "a form of public transportation."
Santa Monica has just launched the very first bike share in Los Angeles County, a pilot with 31 bikes at seven hubs throughout the city. Eventually, they'll have 500 bikes at up to 75 stations, but their system's bikes won't be interchangeable with Metro's. CycleHop, Santa Monica's bike share vendor, is also in the works to set up a system for West Hollywood, with possible hubs at The Grove and Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles.
· Council Approves Bringing More Than 1,000 Bikeshare Bikes to DTLA [Councilman Jose Huizar]
· The Map and Timeline For the LA County Bike Share Program [Curbed LA]
· Take a First Glimpse at Los Angeles's New Bike Share System [Curbed LA]
· First Bike Share Program in LA Has Launched in Santa Monica [Curbed LA]