Los Angeles moved a big step closer to launching a bike share program yesterday when the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Agency (MTA) passed a motion authorizing an implementation study for a regional bike share program in LA County. At the meeting, Gina Goodhill Rosen, Global Green USA’s Senior Policy & Legislative Affairs Associate testified in support of the motion.
Global Green urged the MTA board to take a leading role in the implementation and funding of the program, in order to create a truly regional system; to coordinate with the City of Santa Monica on its ongoing bike share efforts; and to consider how this program would include and attract low-income riders, a population that is often under-represented in bike share systems. Metro voted to move forward with these goals in mind, and Mayor Garcetti (also on the MTA board) specifically directed MTA to investigate the low-income aspect of this program.
We are very excited about this development. Bike sharing has shown to be a successful way to address the problems of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and an effective way to introduce non-riders to bicycling. It has become a critical component in developing sustainable cities in the US and around the world.
A bike share program is a natural fit for LA County, a region with a relatively flat terrain, perfect weather, and committed cities. The program will provide “the last mile” of connection to commuters as well as a healthy and environmentally friendly transportation option to Angelinos.
Given these myriad benefits of bike sharing, we have been working closely with the City of Santa Monica for the past two years to help them launch a bike share program. At the same time, we have been advocating for a regional, interconnected system with linkages between Southern California cities. Today’s support from the Metro Board buttresses our efforts to bring a regional bike share program to LA.
In the coming months, we look forward to continuing our work with Santa Monica and other participating cities, and hope to be a resource for Metro. Today’s vote was a great first step, but there’s still a lot of work ahead. We are excited to work with Metro, the County, and various cities on this groundbreaking program.