Photos by Asia Morris.
The City of Long Beach will unveil its Bike Share Program to the public on Thursday on The Promenade at 3rd Street at 10:00AM, according to a release issued Wednesday.
“Long Beach Bike Share is a great step forward for our growing bicycle infrastructure," said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. "This is a fantastic new opportunity for experienced and beginner cyclists alike to get around our city, support sustainability, and stay fit.”
Long Beach Bike Share, powered by CycleHop and Social Bicycles, is funded by a $2.3 million Call for Projects grant awarded by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), according to the release. The grant funds bicycle infrastructure improvements as part of the agency’s initiative to support bicycling and walking as viable modes of transportation throughout Los Angeles County.
Aside from the city’s investment of $565,000 to match the aforementioned funds for the initial purchase of the 500 bicycles, as stated in the release, the program’s operations will function without cost to the city.
“The Long Beach Bike Share program advances the City’s robust transportation programs that focus on pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal in a statement. “Sharing bicycles makes using Long Beach Transit or Metro’s Blue Line even easier, because passengers can use the bicycles to complete the first and last mile of their trips.”
As reported in the initial article, when fully implemented, the program will include 50 stations equipped with a total of 500 bikes. The area will first launch with 100 bicycles at 10 stations, with the first station to be installed at City Hall starting Wednesday. Stations will be added to the system as CycleHop and the city identify more areas that can benefit from the program.
“Long Beach Bike Share will enhance the City’s livability, and provide a new option for short trips within the City,” said Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez in a statement. “We’re making it simpler to be car-free.”
The program complements the addition and redesign of several bicycle lanes, including a new 8.5-mile lane on Pacific Avenue set to connect Ocean Boulevard to Del Amo Boulevard, and the three-mile Beach Bike Path. The city is also in the process of completing a new bicycle lane on Alamitos Avenue between 7th Street and Orange, while a designated bicycle lane has been added to Artesia Boulevard.
"We’re excited to launch an innovative bike share model where CycleHop operates with financial independence,” said City Manager Patrick H. West in a statement. “Long Beach will be the first city in Southern California where such a model is deployed.”
Long Beach Bike Share and its first 10 stations and 100 bikes will be available during the Beach Streets Downtown event on Saturday, March 19, for the public to try out the system.
“CycleHop is excited to partner with the City of Long Beach,” stated CycleHop CEO, Joshua Squires. “My company has made exciting firsts here in Southern California including Santa Monica and Beverly Hills. We envision a network of connected bike share programs that decrease the need to use a car throughout the region.”
For more information on how to use the system, including the purchase of day rates and membership passes, visit Long Beach Bike Share’s website here.