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Bike Nation to Roll Out L.A.'s First Bike Sharing Program

Photo of Bike Nation rental kiosk via Bike Nation/Facebook
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Good news for cyclists and other earth-conscious Angelenos: Bike Nation has announced plans to set up L.A.'s first-ever bike share program, and the wheels are expected to hit downtown Los Angeles in April of 2013. Downtown is just the first of many areas the program hopes to have a presence in. In the next two years, over 4,000 bikes and 400 share stations will be made available throughout the city.

Bike Nation, a privately-funded Southern California business, is asking for no financial assistance from the government. With no monetary roadblocks in the way, the L.A. City Council has already been directed to create a permit process that will allow the sharing stations to be built on public land, according to a recent press release. Bike Nation will generate profit via membership fees, advertising, and sponsorship.

Derek Fretheim, Bike Nation's CEO, expressed his enthusiasm for the project on the Bike Nation website, stating the program will provide "a safe, low-cost, healthy transportation alternative to Los Angeles residents." The first stations planned for the downtown area include ones at Union Station, Olvera Street, the County Hall of Administration Building, and two stations at each of the following locations: the Caltrans Building, City Hall, and the LAPD.

The bikes that will be shared are manufactured by Bike Nation here in the US, and they are anything but ordinary. Each one is chainless, has airless tires (which lessens the need for tire maintenance), and are equipped with GPS technology. The kiosks that hold the bikes will be self-service, and bikes can be returned to any station in the program. Fees will vary depending on the length of the rental, but there are incentives for those keeping a bike for a shorter period of time and deals for students and seniors, too.

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Similar plans are already being implemented in Fullerton, Anaheim, Long Beach, and Santa Monica.