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Beverly Hills Pursues Bike Sharing Program

The city wants to move forward with efforts to launch a bicycle sharing program between communities of the Westside Cities Council of Governments.

The City Council gave staff direction last week to continue working towards the establishment of a bicycle sharing program between Westside communities.

"I am very interested in this and I would like to aggressively pursue it," Councilwoman Lili Bosse said at the Sept. 11 study session.

The bike sharing program is an effort of the Westside Cities Council of Governments (Westside Cities COG), a joint powers authority created by the cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, the City of Los Angeles and the County of Los Angeles. 

"It's certainly a priority of the Westside COG to pursue bicycle sharing with a goal to be operable between jurisdictions," Director of Parking Operations Chad Lynn told the council. "In short, it really allows someone to pick up a bicycle in one location and either return that bicycle to that location, or to return that bicycle to an alternate location, perhaps even another jurisdiction."

The bicycle sharing program being pursued calls for a single-sponsor model, meaning funds to keep the program afloat would be generated by granting naming rights for a company or non-profit to place its logo on shared bicycles and bicycle stations. 

Bosse noted that the selected sponsor should reflect the values of the Beverly Hills community. The council agreed that it wanted limited, if any, signage.

"The issue is, a lot of funding for these programs are supported by advertising and each city has different advertising rules," Mayor William Brien said.

City staff reports the average start-up cost per station is $46,000. Annual operating costs would be about $1,800 per bike. Management, promotion and administrative costs for the program are yet to be determined.

"Hopefully by having these bikes in the city and increasing people's alternate modes of transport, we will come closer to the solution of bike paths," Vice Mayor John Mirisch said. 

Councilman Julian Gold was skeptical of moving forward with the program due to Beverly Hills' lack of bike paths. Councilman Barry Brucker was not present at the meeting.

Would you like Beverly Hills to take part in a bicycle sharing program? Tell us in the comments section below.

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George Vreeland Hill September 18, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I would be for such a program. However, the cost of everything seems excessive. I just hope there are safe ways of getting to places like Culver City and West Hollywood.
melanie hoyt September 18, 2012 at 08:46 PM
A great idea. Should the venture prove successful I truly hope someone steps in with a program extension to include less fortunate locales in order to give poor people a means of transportation and exercise. Wouldn't it be great if METRO committed its resources to include transportation for this segment instead of causing all this money to be spent on the BHHS controversy when it has been given a clear signal that the community does not want the subway under the high school. Just swing the line farther south and it can kill two birds with one stone. Time to get money out of politics. We need to elect people who run with only posters and meetings.
Marie Cunningham (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 09:22 PM
@George Vreeland Hill The purpose of the sponsor is to make the program cost neutral for participating communities. The trick is finding an advertising plan that works across multiple cities. Best, Marie
Alexander Hollywood-Man September 19, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I'm all in support of the Bike Sharing program. However, it makes sense to implement it in the areas WITH bike-friendly facilities, such as where Bike Lanes and Bike Parking exist. Unfortunately, no bike lanes, and only a hand-full of bike racks exist in Beverly Hills... Unfortunately Bev Hills has been quite hostile when it comes to public transit, walking, and bicycling. They still have this old-fashioned mentality that "Cars-only reduce crime", hence their pro-car and anti-transit propaganda. So, why waste money on Bike Sharing when not a single mile (!) of bike lanes even exists in Beverly Hills, and both residents and city leaders are stuck with their heads in the sand with their car-only mentality! For starters, Beverly Hills should at least withdraw its ridiculous, senseless lawsuit against Metro (BHUSD wants to prevent building a subway in BH). Then, build miles and miles of Class II bike lanes throughout Bev Hills. And then (and only then!) will Bike Sharing start to make sense. Wake-up, Beverly HIlls. You're behind the rest of LA County! Time to catch-up.
grrlyrida September 19, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Bike sharing in Beverly Hills? Bike share works where there is infrastructure that's conducive to all users of the road, including pedestrians, cyclists and cars. Beverly Hills doesn't have 1 cm of bike lane or any infrastructure that would encourage anyone to use a bike share there.
Gary Kavanagh September 20, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Seems odd that unlike Santa Monica which has been diligently making little improvements to bicycling and is planning bike share, Beverly Hills suddenly wants in on the bike share action despite doing everything possible to make riding a bike unwelcome within it's borders. I'm all for bike share, and for such systems to be compatibly across municipalities in the LA area, but hey Beverly Hills, maybe paint a couple bike lanes or install more bike racks than can be counted on one hand, it's dirt cheap to make such improvements. Beverly Hills is a black hole for bicycling at present, and someplace I avoid riding through unless I absolutely have to despite being a daily and confident bike commuter. I've also made a point of spending zero dollars within the Beverly Hills borders for several years now, not even for a small snack, because I believe in putting my money where my values are, and Beverly Hills apparently would rather I get lost.
grrlyrida September 20, 2012 at 09:25 PM
I make sure I use Beverly Hills roads every chance I get. However I don't spend a penny in Beverly Hills. It's my way of sticking to the man. I won't help pay for their roads through my sale taxes, but I make sure I use them.
Glenn E Grab September 23, 2012 at 09:45 PM
what happens when somebody gets killed on a "shared" bicycle?.....this is a trial lawyer's dream, a dead client and a deep pockets defendant....didn't anyone ever think of this?....

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