SANTA MONICA — Almost three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Santa Monica is still offering free unlimited 90-minute Breeze Bike Share rides.
The program began when quarantine orders shut down businesses and limited travel to essential needs only. Santa Monica took action making the Breeze Bike Share free in order to provide a cost-free and reliable option for essential trips.
The move was also partially motivated by possible hesitation to use public transportation during times of COVID-19.
After the city made Breeze Bike Share free of charge, the Better Bike Share Partnership granted Santa Monica $10,000 to help keep Breeze free. The grant came at a time when 10% of Santa Monica households do not have access to a vehicle.
According to the Better Bike Share Partnership, throughout the pandemic bike usage has massively increased across the country and world. In New York, China, and Philadelphia cycling has increased by nearly 150%. In London and New York emergency bike lanes have been added due to the demand.
Bike Share Coordinator for Santa Monica Kyle Kozar reminded the public on May 27 that Breeze bikes are still free, and with less traffic on the road “now is a great time to try Breeze for short trips around town or to get out and exercise while maintaining physical distance.”
With the concerns of infections on the shared bikes, Breeze Bike Share’s staff has increased how often the bikes are sanitized and maintained. All of Breeze’s staff wears personal protective equipment at all times in the field.
Kozar announced safety suggestions for those who plan to use the bikes. Riders should always wear a face mask and helmet, maintain six feet of physical distance even on the bike, obey the rules of the road and do not ride on the sidewalk, and wash your hands before and after or if on a long ride bring sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to maintain cleanliness.
To sign up to ride Breeze download the Social Bicycles App or visit www.breezebikeshare.com.