Today marks the opening of the eagerly-awaited bike share program in Downtown, allowing cyclists to easily rent bikes for short trips in an area that spans Chinatown, the Arts District, South Park, and Historic South Central.
There are 1,000 black-and-green bikes in Metro's bike share system, and they can be checked out and returned to any one of 65 docking stations, which also have kiosks and maps. The program is only open to monthly and annual passholders until Aug. 1, when tourists and other less-frequent users will be able to pay per ride, $3.50 per 30 minutes. (Rate information is available here.)
The bikes have three gears and are pretty cool looking. Lights and a rack come standard with each bicycle, but helmets do not. Metro's news blog, The Source, compiled a list of five great routes for testing out a new bike share bike, including the protected bike lane on Los Angeles Street, where there’s also a bike signal (LA’s first!).
LA is one of the last major metropolitan areas to get a bike sharing program, but local officials say they want to do a better job than other cities have at making it useful to people in low-income areas. KPCC reports that Metro is considering a low-income discount.
Here are a few views from the street scene post-launch today:
- Los Angeles's Bike Share Launches July 7 [Curbed LA]
- 5 great DTLA streets for a Metro bike share ride [The Source]
- Bike Share Coming to UCLA, Westwood This Fall [Curbed LA]
- Venice Will Be the First in LA to Get Bike Sharing [Curbed LA]