Marking its first deployment of bike-share in the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) partnered with the City of Los Angeles to launch new “Smart” Metro Bikes in the North Hollywood area, the Valley’s premiere arts district and its busiest transit hub.
Sixteen new Metro Bike Share stations with up to 150 bicycles have now been installed in North Hollywood, Toluca Lake, and Valley Village. An additional six stations and 50 bicycles will be added by the end of the year. Metro Bike Share stations will now be available at or near the Metro Red/Orange Line Stations, the NoHo Arts District, the Chandler Bikeway, and will connect Metro Bike Share riders to the ever-expanding gallery, theatre, café, and restaurant scene in the neighborhoods surrounding Lankershim and Magnolia Boulevards.
Smart Metro Bikes allow riders to lock their bikes at an official Smart Metro Bike Station or, for a small convenience fee, lock them to available public bike racks, thus extending the convenience for riders to access destinations throughout the area. Bikes can be unlocked using a Metro TAP card via card reader that is installed directly on the bike, or they can unlock it via the official Metro Bike Share app. Rides on Smart Metro Bikes start at $1.75 for every 30 minutes.
The bikes themselves are designed for ease-of-use, comfort, and convenience. They come with baskets, pannier-compatible racks, front and back lights, wide tires, and eight speeds.
Metro worked closely with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation to determine the location of bike share stations in the North Hollywood area.
The agency’s Smart Metro Bikes, also available on the Westside, solve one of the challenges associated with using shared bicycles to reach city destinations that may not have a readily available docking station. Because these bikes accommodate Metro’s TAP card functionality, bike-share riders can also easily use the card to ride other Metro and municipally operated transit services in L.A. County. To use a TAP card to unlock these bicycles, TAP cardholders must first enroll in the Metro Bike Share Program and register their tap cards.
The bikes will be operated by Bicycle Transit Systems and provided by BTS’ partner BCycle, a unit of Trek Bicycles of Wisconsin. The companies have successfully launched and/or operate more than 40 bike share systems in metropolitan areas in the U.S. and abroad.
There are now 1,500 Metro Bikes and 150 stations located Downtown L.A., Central L.A., Port of L.A., North Hollywood, and the Westside. Metro plans to expand the Metro Bike Share program to create a system of more than 4,000 bicycles countywide over time.
To date, approximately 800,000 trips have been made on Metro Bike Share in Los Angeles County. Bike-share riders have collectively traveled over 2.4 million miles on the bicycles since the program launched and have reduced over 2.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide — a major greenhouse gas — emissions from the air.
Originally posted on Metro Magazine