Bike Share Eyes Venice Launch in Early 2013

A spokesman for Bike Nation says Venetians can expect to see approximately 40-50 bike share kiosks around the community by March of 2013.

Over the weekend, news broke that a private bike share company made an agreement with the City of Los Angeles to operate kiosks in several communities — Venice being one of the locations. (source)

“This is great news for my constituents who face gridlock on the Westside on a daily basis,” said Councilmember Bill Rosendhal who chairs the City’s Transportation Committee. “While a bike share does not guarantee congestion relief, it does provide Angelenos and visitors one more alternative to the car.”

As many people witnessed with the fourth CicLAvia held over the weekend — the bike trend is gaining momentum. (PHOTOS)

“The bike culture is really starting to explode here,” says Bike Nation spokesman Derek Fretheim.

Fretheim says the bikes are for everyone — from the casual commuter to those who rely on public and alternative modes of transportation on a regular basis to move around the City. For a fee, users would be able to walk up and ride or pay for a yearly membership.

What’s next for Bike Nation as it plans to roll into Venice? Details are still being ironed out, but here is some preliminary info.

“Over the next four to six weeks, we will be working directly with a variety of city departments to define exact locations,” says Fretheim.

Rosendahl insists the neighborhood councils are able to weigh in on the kiosk locations as well.

“I feel strongly about our neighborhood council being involved in this process,” said Rosendahl. “If these bikes are for the community to use, then the community should be able to provide input on the best locations.”

The kiosks can be placed on public rights of way or on private spaces. The overall footprint of the kiosk is 8 ft by 20 ft —  or roughly the size of one and a half parking spaces for a car.

Downtown and Hollywood will be the first LA communities to get kiosks, followed by Venice and Westwood in the first quarter of 2013.

Fretheim says the Westside can expect to see a few dozen of its movable, solar-powered kiosks. Each one will be located about a 1/4 – 1/2 mile apart from each other, with approximately 1o bikes at each location.

“I think one of the things that we’re discussing is probably around 40 to 50 locations,” says Fretheim. “We need saturation to make it work.”

The bikes will have GPS technology which allows Bike Nation to record each trip and determine the customer’s total usage, including miles, calories, and carbon reduction.

The company is investing $16 million in the bike share program in Los Angeles, and Fretheim says the program would be funded through bike share user fees and local sponsors.

For more information: Bike Nation

Photo: Bike Nation

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