SANTA MONICA — Lyft, the largest bike share operator in the country added Santa Monica to its list of e-bike towns on Wednesday, September 30.
“Today, we’re excited to share that we are completing the acquisition of America’s largest bikeshare service, Motivate,” stated the company blog. “Headquartered in New York City, the company is responsible for the growth of the country’s most ridden bike share systems, including: Citi Bike (New York), Ford GoBike (San Francisco Bay area), Divvy (Chicago), Bluebikes (Boston Metro area), Capital Bikeshare (Washington, D.C. metro area), BIKETOWN (Portland), CoGo (Columbus, Ohio), and Nice Ride (Minneapolis).”
Lyft’s (known for car share) vision to improve transportation access, sustainability and affordability has expanded to bike share with this venture.
Lyft sees a growth potential for bikeshare and hopes to transform the landscape of cities and country as a whole. It says bike share is eco-friendly and good for a healthy economy.
The hybrid ebike service was previously provided to the city by Breeze, which has 80 stations in the city of Santa Monica.
“The new ebikes will be docked at the existing Breeze stations, ensuring there is no gap in service once the current Breeze program ends in November,” Lyft said in a news release.
“In the next few months, Lyft will ramp up its fleet to 500 ebikes, becoming Lyft’s second bike share network in the country to go all-electric.”
One can check out the ebikes in the Lyft app using the bicycle icon. The app informs users about the available ebikes nearby.
Renting starts at $1 to unlock plus $0.34 per minute, although Community Pass members can pay $5 per month and $0.05 per minute to ride.
“Whether you’re going that first mile or that last mile, ebikes are a fun, affordable way to get around town,” Lyft said.
Each hybrid ebike comes with a cable to lock to any Breeze station for free. The bikes can be locked to a public bike rack within the West Los Angeles service area for an extra $1.
Fines may be imposed for bikes parked outside the allotted area.
Lyft users need to follow government rules and to wear helmets. It is advised to do a few pre-checks such as adjusting the seat to one’s comfort level and making sure the tires are full and the breaks work before moving onto the road.
In case of a problem, the users need to keep the ebike locked and tap the flag in the upper right-hand corner of the Lyft app to report it before choosing another one. All users need to do is pedal to start moving.
Bike lanes and roads are the best routes for cyclists, and bicycles should remain off the sidewalk unless it’s time to park the bike, the company said.
Some areas will be off-limits for the Lyft ebikes, including locations in Santa Monica which sees more pedestrian traffic.
“Due to city regulations, pedal assist won’t function in select areas of the city, including the Beach Bike Path, Pier, Promenade, and public parks,” according to the company.
Lyft also offers a Community Pass for bikes and scooters in Santa Monica. The Lyft Community Pass is a reduced-fare membership program for qualifying residents of Santa Monica and L.A. Membership costs $5 per month and includes discounted ebike rides at $0.05 per minute.
The Community Pass program is available to residents ages 18 and older who qualify for the Big Blue Bus Low Income Fare is Easy program, Calfresh, Medicaid, SNAP, or the SCE Energy Savings Assistance Program and to qualifying Santa Monica Community College students.
“Santa Monica looks forward to the availability of Lyft ebikes within the city. This new service by Lyft will provide people with another sustainable and easy option for getting around and builds upon the city’s many shared mobility efforts that started with the launch of Breeze bikes almost five years ago,” said Francie Stefan, Chief Mobility Officer, City of Santa Monica to Patch news. “Ebikes are growing in popularity because of the welcome boost they give to travel more easily or further, and as an outdoor mobility option in our year-round temperate climate.”
To learn more, visit Lyft’s website and ebikes in Santa Monica.