April 19, 2012
On April 15, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that Bike Nation is coming to Los Angeles.
Bike Nation, a local company whose headquarters are in Tustin, California, has committed to install 400 kiosks with a total of 4,000 bikes throughout the City of Los Angeles, with the first kiosks expected to open in late 2012.
To rent a bicycle from Bike Nation, one can simply visit a self-service kiosk, which takes most major credit cards. Bicycles may be rented and returned anywhere within Bike Nation’s network of stations. Regular users can purchase a subscription and receive a card that allows the user to bypass the kiosks. Daily users and tourists will be able to purchase 24-hour passes to use Bike Nation’s bicycles.
Subscription prices range from $6.00 for 24-hours to $75.00 for one year. Patrons can also pay based on minutes, with no charge for a 0-30 minute trip and $4.50 for a 90 minute trip (the price increases by $6.00 for each additional half hour). The usage fees are designed to encourage users to return their rented bicycle within the first 30 minutes, making the same bicycle available for another customer.
For techies, Bike Nation’s Kiosks are modular, portable, wirelessly connected and solar powered. Bike Nation has also created a smart phone app for users to locate its kiosks.
First Zipcars and now Bike Nation! Shared-ride options are taking off in Los Angeles. However, will any of these shared-ride options have any effect on Los Angeles’ debilitating traffic?