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Metro opens first bike share stations in the Valley

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The bikes can now be found throughout the North Hollywood area

Funky yellow, white, red, and black NoHo Gateway sign spans Lankershim Boulevard. Low-slung businesses line the boulevard.
The new “smart” bicycles can be locked to any bike rack within
Liz Kuball

It took a full three years, but Metro’s bike share program finally rolled into the San Fernando Valley today, with new stations going live in the North Hollywood area.

The agency will make up to 150 bicycles available across 16 stations throughout the neighborhood, and plans to add more bikes—and six new stations—before the end of the year. Like other bikes in the system, they can be rented by using Metro’s mobile app, or by swiping a TAP card with preloaded fare.

Unlike the older bikes in Metro’s system, the new “smart” bicycles don’t have to be returned at another bike share station. Riders can instead pay a $2 convenience fee and lock them to any bike rack within Metro’s service area, outlined on this system map.

The bike share program launched in 2016, when 65 docking stations opened in the Downtown area. Since then, the program’s expanded to the Port of LA, Central LA, and the Westside. Metro’s system also had a short-lived stint in Pasadena, but the city elected to get rid of its bike share stations in light of disappointing ridership results.

One reason bike share ridership in LA hasn’t yet reached levels seen in other cities, like New York, is that dockless bike and scooter companies like Bird and Lime have given riders easy-to-use alternatives to Metro’s bikes that can be found throughout the city—and ridden nearly anywhere.

To make its bikes more competitive, Metro has added more “smart bikes” that don’t have to be returned at a station and focused on expanding service areas so that riders can use the bikes to get to a wider range of places. The agency also cut its bike rental price in half last year (from $3.50 to $1.75 for a 30-minute ride).

The North Hollywood bike stations are strategically placed around Metro’s two subway stations in the San Fernando Valley, encouraging riders to use the vehicles to connect with trains and buses in the area.

“With better connections to the Red and Orange lines, this expansion will give commuters in North Hollywood and throughout the Valley more options for getting around in a fun and accessible way,” says Los Angeles Department of Transportation general manager Seleta Reynolds.

The bike share system is still growing. Right now, roughly 1,500 bikes can be found in four service areas. Eventually, Metro plans to more than double that number, expanding the program’s reach in the process.