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.
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