WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city is moving forward with plans to launch its bike share program, which is scheduled to be unveiled this summer.
Bicycle sharing makes public bicycles available for shared use to people on a short-term basis. The bike share program will expand mobility options in West Hollywood and will complement other forms of transportation and transit.
The city is seeking feedback from community members about locations for the program’s 20 planned bike share stations for Phase 1. To facilitate engagement with the community, the city has launched an online tool with a “suggest a location” feature, accessible at www.weho.org/bikeshare. Site visitors can stay informed about bike share program news and updates by providing an email address, as well.
“Bringing bike share to West Hollywood means more residents and visitors will have a transportation option that’s also great for a healthy lifestyle,” City Councilwoman Lindsey P. Horvath said. “This process empowers the community to locate the most convenient stations that make biking accessible and safe for all.”
The city’s goal is to gather feedback about where bikes are most needed, where users will want to go and what would encourage prospective riders to use a bike rather than a car to reach destinations within the city. The city also is inviting community members to suggest sites at key destinations outside of West Hollywood’s boundaries to be considered for a future expansion of the program.
The bike share online tool also features detailed information about the upcoming program and includes a section called “Meet the Bike” for visitors to get acquainted with the unique features of the bicycles. The bike share program will feature 150 “smart bikes” manufactured by Social Bicycles, which will utilize wireless technology to allow riders to use a smartphone app to reserve bikes, pay for membership, and track and share ride data with friends in online social networks. The bicycles will feature light-emitting diode headlights and taillights and cargo baskets.
To tackle steep climbs to Sunset Strip, the bicycles will feature eight gears. As smart bikes, all of the technology is located on the bikes, so they can also be locked to any public bike rack, increasing user flexibility and convenience.
Users will be able to find bike share bicycles near transit stops, businesses and other major destinations within the city of West Hollywood. The system also will be linked to the Westside Regional Bike Share program, which includes the cities of Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, and will provide combined access to more than 1,000 bikes.
Bike share membership opportunities will begin in the coming weeks. Founding members will be invited to a preview event to test-ride the bikes prior to the full launch this summer.
The bike share program will be operated by CycleHop, LLC, which plans and operates bike share programs throughout North America.
At 1.9 square miles, the city is well suited for bike share and cycling is a great way to get some sunshine and exercise. The city has 3.5 miles of bike lanes and sharrows and is actively engaged in continuing expansion of its bicycle network with the completion of its Pedestrian and Bicycle Mobility Plan update.
The city’s residents, businesses, and visitors will be able to use bike share for errands and commuting or for recreation and fitness. Bike share also makes cycling a more attractive option by eliminating the need to store and maintain a bicycle.
There are multiple benefits of bike share: it saves time and money; it reduces traffic congestion; and it is a wonderful way to improve the health of people and the planet.
Information: Bianca Siegl at (323) 848-6853.