SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Most individuals know Lyft as an organization that provides on-demand rides in automobiles, however beginning Tuesday, it’ll additionally provide electrical bicycles in Santa Monica. Docked on the similar stations that at the moment home town’s human-powered Breeze bicycles, Lyft’s pedal-assist e-bikes are designed to make sure steady entry to a motorbike share system as town ends its Breeze program Nov. 1.
“We’re on an exploratory path with a dedication to lower-emission transportation, and we expect shared mobility is a part of that,” mentioned Francie Stefan, chief mobility officer for town of Santa Monica. “We have been engaged on shared mobility for numerous years now, and are persevering with a means of how town’s partnership with non-public sector corporations can assist present companies like shared bikes.”
Accessible by way of the Lyft app, the bikes are $1 to unlock, and $0.34 per minute to trip. Cyclists scan the bike’s QR code to unlock the bikes, which use an electrical motor to reinforce riders’ pedaling and make them transfer with much less effort. Every bicycle comes with a cable lock that permits it to be locked to any public bike rack throughout the program’s service space for $1.
The bikes will even be obtainable by way of the Lyft Neighborhood move system, which permits low-income residents and qualifying Santa Monica Neighborhood Faculty college students to pay simply $5 a month and take e-bike rides for the lowered charge of $0.05 per minute.
Lyft’s e-bike share is coming into the market only one month earlier than Santa Monica terminates the Breeze bike share it ran for nearly 5 years, utilizing grants from the Los Angeles Nation Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Air High quality Administration District. By means of that system, the city-owned 450 Breeze bikes.
“This system was extremely common and an extremely good solution to elevate consciousness about bicycling within the metropolis as a solution to get round,” mentioned Stefan, including that every of the bikes was ridden 1000’s of miles and that the fleet, as a complete, was turning into a sufferer of its personal success. “We have been hitting a degree the place we would have liked to buy a wholly new fleet, and at this level, there isn’t a grant funding for that.”
Santa Monica already has a years-long partnership with Lyft. It’s one in every of two on-demand scooter corporations that at the moment function within the metropolis, together with the native firm that began the e-scooter craze: Hen.
“We’re excited to deliver e-bikes to Santa Monica to assist scale back congestion and emissions, by offering one other transportation possibility for residents and guests,” mentioned David Fairbank, common supervisor for Lyft Bikes & Scooters in Southern California. Lyft is beginning its e-bike share program with 100 bikes however plans to supply about 500 e-bikes on the Westside over the brand new few months.
Santa Monica is the most recent metropolis to affix Lyft’s bike share program, following Minneapolis, San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Portland.
Over the previous few years, Lyft has been quietly including new types of mobility to its app. Since 2018, it has been working on-demand scooters in varied markets, together with Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and on campus on the College of California, Los Angeles. Two weeks in the past, it added a automobile rental service to its app in L.A. known as SIXT.
“Lyft and Uber see themselves as competing with folks shopping for automobiles or folks shopping for extra automobiles per family, in order that they wish to meet all people’s full mobility wants,” mentioned Juan Matute, deputy director of the Institute of Transportation Research on the College of California, Los Angeles. “If you will get on a scooter or bicycle in an space that, pre-COVID, had congestion, that creates new markets that Lyft and Uber can seize.”
Lyft has been a part of Santa Monica’s ever-evolving shared mobility program caused by the sudden, unannounced look of Hen scooters on its streets three years in the past. Whereas Lyft has not supplied electrical bikes in Santa Monica beforehand, it’s been gaining expertise within the bike-share house by way of its possession of Encourage. The biggest bike share supplier in North America, Encourage, operates bike shares in city areas all through the nation, together with New York Metropolis.
One different electrical bike share program – Leap – operated in Santa Monica from Sept. 2018 by way of April of this 12 months. As soon as owned by Uber, the San Francisco-based scooter firm, Lime, bought it in mid-Might. In California, Leap at the moment solely operates in Sacramento. It isn’t prone to resume operations in Santa Monica, Stefan mentioned.