Metro To Expand Bike Share To Venice, Pasadena And San Pedro By Summer 2017

Metro's Board of Directors voted on Thursday in favor of expanding its soon-to-be countywide bike share system to Venice, Pasadena and San Pedro/Wilmington by July of 2017. Phase II of Metro's bike share program will add a total of 60 more stations to the system that's currently confined to areas in and around downtown Los Angeles. The fact that Phase II will include 60 stations is actually pretty significant, given Metro's original bike share plan noted Phase II would be limited to only 34 stations Pasadena.

Each station will hold anywhere from 10 to 20 bicycles, depending on available space. Aside from 34 stations clustered around central Pasadena, Phase II of Metro's bike share expansion will add 15 stations in Venice (two years faster than its the transit agency's original plan) and 11 stations in and around the port neighborhoods of San Pedro and Wilmington.

This is pretty cool news, given that Metro only opened the first part of its bike share system, in downtown L.A., just a few months ago, in July. Though the system is still very young, Metro has managed to link all the bike share systems to its TAP card, meaning that, provided you've purchased the appropriate pass, you can TAP to ride. Metro's system is also, coincidentally, the only government owned and operated bike share system in the entire United States. Systems in other cities, like N.Y.C.'s CitiBike and D.C.'s Capital Bikeshare, are all privately owned and operated.

While the exact locations of the bike share stations in Venice and the port area haven't been finalized yet, we do know where the Pasadena stations will be. The map above shows where they'll be. While most are in Pasadena's downtown and Old Town neighborhoods, south of the 210, there are several stations a little further away. It looks like there's even one planned for the Rose Bowl.

As for the stations around the port, our friends at Streetsblog L.A. take a critical tone of the future port area stations, arguing that the harbor's lack of density and transit connections prematurely dooms the stations in San Pedro and Wilmington to low usage rates. At the same time, the harbor cities, especially Wilmington, are graced with a remarkable number of bike lanes, making riding there often safer and more pleasurable than other neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. L.A. City Councilmember Joe Buscaino also explained to LAist that the port stations will integrate into a broad redevelopment of the L.A. Waterfront:

While the LA Waterfront is less dense than downtown, Metro Bikes serve the same sensibility, taking residents and visitors out of their cars, allowing them to better enjoy the geography and weather that Los Angeles and its waterfront have to offer. When it is compete, the new San Pedro Public Market destination will increase the original value of the Metro Bike program at the LA Waterfront.

Metro also hints that some of the Venice stations could actually end up being placed in Santa Monica too. Santa Monica, which operates its own Breeze bike share program, has an agreement with the city of Los Angeles to place five Breeze bikeshare stations in Venice. The condition of the agreement is that Venice, part of Los Angeles technically, can place up to five stations in Santa Monica. This will likely translate into bike share stations nearby the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Line station.

Metro's bike share system is still in its infancy, and still has a lot of room to grow. The transit agency has a long-range expansion plan that will eventually blanket a significant portion of Los Angeles County with access to shareable bicycles. Up next on the expansion list is a large swath of Central L.A.—Koreatown, Westlake, Pico Union, along with parts of Echo Park and South L.A around USC.

Then, Metro plans to bring bike share to Hollywood and West Hollywood, eventually followed with more expansions in Venice and Marina Del Rey, as well as North Hollywood and Huntington Park.

The cost of the Phase II expansion is approximately $42 million, allocated to cover the cost of the bicycles, the stations, as well as six years of maintenance and upkeep. The city of Pasadena, as well as the Port of Los Angeles, will also chip in to cover the cost.