The City of Long Beach has unveiled a new bike-sharing program to offer residents and visitors a new way to move around town. An unveiling took place March 10 on The Promenade at 3rd Street.
“Long Beach Bike Share is a great step forward for our growing bicycle infrastructure,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This is a fantastic new opportunity for experienced and beginner cyclists alike to get around our city, support sustainability and stay fit.”
Funding for Long Beach Bike Share comes from a $2.3-million Call for Projects grant awarded by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The grant funds bicycle infrastructure improvements as part of the agency’s multi-mobility program to support biking and walking as a viable transportation mode in L.A. County. Aside from the City investment of $565,000 in matching funds for the initial purchase of the 500 bicycles, Long Beach Bike Share will operate 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. “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.”
When fully implemented, Long Beach Bike Share will include 50 stations equipped with 500 bikes. The system area will initially launch with 100 bicycles at 10 stations. Further stations will be added to grow the system as CycleHop– a ‘smart bike’ share program operator– and the City identify additional areas that can be served by the system.
“Long Beach Bike Share will enhance the City’s livability and provide a new option for short trips within the City,” said 1st District Councilmember Lena Gonzalez. “We’re making it simpler to be car-free.”
The program builds on the City’s expansion and redesign of bicycle lanes, including a new 8.5-mile bicycle lane on Pacific Avenue that will connect Ocean Boulevard to Del Amo Boulevard, and the City’s 3-mile Beach Bike Path. Additionally, the City is completing a new bicycle lane on Alamitos Avenue by implementing a “road diet” by removing one lane of traffic in each direction between 7th Street and Orange Avenue. Furthermore, the City also recently added a delineated bicycle lane on Artesia Boulevard. The League of American Bicyclists also designated the City as a silver level Bicycle Friendly Community.
“We’re excited to launch an innovative bike-share model where CycleHop operates with financial independence,” said City Manager Patrick H. West. “Long Beach will be the first city in Southern California where such a model is deployed.”
The public will be able to sign up for memberships and try out a bicycle during the Beach Streets Downtown open street event on Saturday, March 19, when 10 stations and 100 bikes will be set up in downtown Long Beach.
“CycleHop is excited to partner with the City of Long Beach,” said Joshua Squires, CycleHop CEO. “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.”
Users have the option of renting the bike on an hourly basis for $7 or purchase a membership monthly pass. A $15 pass will include 60 minutes of daily use time; a $20 pass will include 90 minutes a day. Up to six persons can share one membership account. Prospective users can assess availability of bicycles at a particular station via a mobile phone app. The bikes have integrated locking mechanism and feature eight speeds. Moreover, the bicycles have adjustable seats and are adaptable to most users, accommodating for different fitness and range. Users are urged to use their own helmets.
For more information, including registration and downloading a mobile app, visit longbeachbikeshare.com .