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Bike share might roll into Culver City by 2018

The city may partner with Los Angeles and Metro to serve Palms, Playa Vista, and other neighborhoods

Bike share bikes at a station Roberta Romero | creative commons

Slowly but surely, bike share programs are spreading through the Los Angeles area, with systems having recently gone into operation in Downtown LA and West Hollywood. Now, Culver City is looking to get in on the action, and a city-commissioned study suggests that a bike share system could open up there as soon as next year.

The study finds that the best approach for Culver City would be to parter with both Metro and the city of Los Angeles to expand Metro’s bike share program, which already serves Downtown LA and will soon expand into Pasadena and beyond. In addition to Culver City, the bikes would also serve Palms, Playa Vista, Del Rey, and part of Mar Vista.

The proposed service area is, in fact, expansive enough that the majority of the 620 bikes in the system would be located outside of Culver City. Totaling about 12 square miles in area, it would include an estimated 62 stations.

The proposed program would differ slightly from the one already in use in Downtown LA. The study suggests that, rather than implementing a docking system in which users must rent and return bikes to specific stations, Culver City and Los Angeles should employ a “smart bike” program, in which customers can simply park the bike at any rack within the service boundaries.

The study suggests that this option would be about half the price of a docking system, though it would be somewhat more complicated to operate, as staffers would need to regularly round up the bikes and redistribute them. Total five-year costs for both Culver City and Los Angeles would be around $1.2 million. The system is expected to serve between 15,000 and 20,000 riders per month.

Should Culver City reach a deal with Los Angeles and Metro to bring the system into operation, the study estimates it could be up and running by May of 2018 (timed to correspond with National Bike Month).