SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council approved the bike share program fares on Tuesday, June 23. The soft opening for the program, Breeze, will launch around the second week of August. Breeze will offer about 100 3-speed bikes with GPS technology and a downloadable app for easy access via smartphones.

The bike share program will allow patrons to unlock bikes at hubs throughout the city. The ‘smart bike’ technology allows people to locate a bike, purchase their ride, and return the rented bike to one of the 75 hubs the city plans to create.

Canyon News spoke to Francine Stefan, Strategic and Transportation Manager for the City of Santa Monica about the bike sharing program. “We used a lot of input to form our first map,” said Stefan. The city analyzed input from an online survey combined with the transit network and the clusters of activity in the city.

Breeze will host various plans to fit the diverse needs of the community. A casual user can expect to pay $6 for one hour of usage with roll over time. Monthly packages are available. There are plans that charge $20 per month for 30 minutes of riding time per day.  A one-hour, per day monthly rate is $25. Monthly plans do not include roll over time.

A basic annual pass for non-residents is $119 for 30 minutes a day, with an extended annual pass costing $149 for 60 minutes a day. Santa Monica residents will pay $79 for a basic annual pass and $99 for the extended pass. Santa Monica’s students may purchase a 6-month pass for 60 minutes of ride time for $47.

Breeze’s purpose is to add to the transit department. “Providing that choice and equity fits really well with the coming of the train and the big blue bus system,” said Stefan. “It’s the option people choose when they want to try something new.” Breeze will launch the full program in November with 500 8-speed bikes, 1,000 bike stands, and 75 hub stations.