Sunday's CicLAvia kicked off with a major announcement for Los Angeles: we're all getting bikes!
Angelenos will be the proud new riders of 4,000 bikes located at 400 kiosks throughout the metropolis. The stations will be installed over two years and will be located in bike-friendly neighborhoods like downtown LA, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made the announcement Sunday morning, saying, "We know it’s what LA needs. As we’ve seen with CicLAvia and ‘Carmaheaven,’ Angelenos are aching for a day without a car,” reports LA Streetsblog.
The initiative is being spearheaded and funded by Bike Nation, a Southern California bike share company that will also assemble the bicycles in a Los Angeles factory. The implementation of the bike share program will cost over $16 million (no public funds will be used), and Bike Nation has committed to the program for 10 years.
Bike Nation's site outlines the cost to use bikes. First, riders have to opt into one of five membership subscriptions ranging from 24 hours ($6) to one year ($75). Once you're a member, every 30-minute trip is free, and a one-hour jaunt starts at $1.50.
The bicycles have airless tires and a chainless drivetrain, which will cut down on breakdowns and the need for repairs. However, the bikes don't come with helmets, so riders will either have to bring their own or do without.
A short-term Bike Nation share program in Anaheim, Calif. was announced Feb. 2012. The bike share will last for one year, starting as early as May 2012, and then the city of Anaheim will re-examine the venture and decided on the possibility of longer-running program.
There are already similar bike share programs in place that deploy thousands of bikes in San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York and Chicago. Check out this time-lapse video from Sunday's CicLAvia. It's a dizzying ride, because the camera seems to be mounted on the handlebars.