(Streetsblog Los Angeles looks at the opening too, check it out: here. – DN)
Oh, Bike Share.
It is. It’s here. It’s real. After years of back-and-forth, now-bankrupt companies and their empty promises lost in the LA River, false announcements… But it’s here. Well, kind of. There are stations. With actual working bikes. But you can’t just ride ‘em quite yet.
As politicians and City workers rode up to a press conference using the bikes—brought to Long Beach by Cycle Hop, the crew behind Santa Monica’s bike share program—to announce that March 19th—not today—will be the formal date when you can check the bikes out. Until then, we hope no one walks up to the bikes on display, reads the instructions to rent the bikes, and discovers they are un-rentable.
The City wants to tie it in with the Beach Streets event taking place on the 19th. Then, people can sign up for memberships. While the plaques at the two current stations—one at City Hall and one at 3rd & Promenade—offer $3.50/30 minutes, $21/four hours or a monthly program ($15 for an hour a day, $20 for 90 minutes a day), someone claimed on Facebook that yearly plans will be offered as well . (The City never mentioned it at the conference or in their press release.)
We’re trying desperately to avoid cynicism. We promise. After all, while it’s been years in the making, bike share is here and that is a good thing. Just, as always, it wasn’t quite rolled out in the way it should have been.
So go, look at the pretty bikes. Just don’t actually use them until the 19th. Ten stations will be installed in DTLB before 40 other stations are installed citywide.