Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

SM Set to Launch Bike Share Program by 2015

In a city known for being very bike friendly, there seems to be plenty of support in Santa Monica for a city-wide bike share program that is designed for residents to take short bike rides or to bridge the gaps in the transit system.

West Hollywood resident Israel Garabino usually rides his bike from his home to his job in Santa Monica, and so for him a bike share program in the city makes perfect sense.

"The weather's perfect for it. The people are ready, in terms of drivers respecting [bicyclists]," he said.

Santa Monica's City Council unanimously approved the $10 million program last week. The contract calls for a private company to place 500 bikes at 60 to 75 stations throughout the city.

The bikes would be equipped with a GPS tracking system and a built-in lock. The city is also exploring different pay options such as a monthly subscription or hourly rates.

Ron Durgin, general manager of the Santa Monica Bike Center, a private company that rents bikes near Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, is also helping spread the word about the city's bike share program. Right now, residents can suggest bike share hub locations on the website

"Now we're getting community input on where stations should go," Durgin said.

Just last year, New York started its own privately run Citibike Program with 6,000 bikes. The City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles have approved bike share concepts, but Santa Monica hopes to have its system up and running by next year, making it one of the first cities in the Southland to actually implement a bike share program.


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