By George Bao July 26, 2016
LOS ANGELES – Commuting in Los Angeles will be more convenient with the city’s new program to allow travellers to use credit cards to pay for Metro Bikes directly from any bike share stations in the city.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced Tuesday that starting next Monday, August 1, Metro and the city of Los Angeles are adding a new payment option to the popular new Metro Bike Share Program in downtown Los Angeles.
Credit cards can now be used to check out a Metro Bike directly from a bike share station throughout the downtown area.
Even better, the regular $3.50 rate will be discounted by 50 percent to just $1.75 per half hour to encourage first-time walk-up users to give the bikes a try. All trips 30 minutes or less will be just $1.75 until October 1. It’s the latest effort by Metro and the city of L.A. to ensure an accessible price structure for all bike share users.
Metro Bikes officially rolled out in downtown on July 7 this year. The system includes over 60 stations and up to 1,000 bicycles. It is now the largest bike share program in L.A. County.
The system is designed for short-distance trips that can be too far to walk but too short to drive. Station locations are within a couple blocks of each other and closely linked with Metro transit services, making it easy to combine bicycle and transit trips.
The walk-up option is attractive for people who want to test the system prior to buying a monthly or annual bike share pass on a Metro TAP card, Metro said.
The new option is also ideal for people who want to complete the first and last mile connection to transit, people with short errands or tourists who want an easy, fun and affordable way to experience downtown destinations by bike, according to Metro.
Metro introduced the following steps for people to use the Metro bikes: Just walk up to a Metro Bike Station, tap the screen, follow the prompts in either English or Spanish, and slide your credit card. Then select your bike, release it from its dock and ride off. The entire process takes less than one minute to complete.
Metro anticipates that the walk-up option will greatly expand use of the new bike share system. Approximately half the rides made on bike share systems in other cities come directly from walk-up sales.
Nearly 5,000 bike share rides have been ridden in the downtown area in the last two weeks since launch. These numbers are expected to grow exponentially with the added option of walk-up sales.
The system originally opened only to monthly or annual flex pass holders, in an effort by Metro and city of L.A. to phase in the complex integration of Metro’s TAP fare card, which can also be used to ride Metro Bus and Rail Lines.
Metro is the first transit agency in North America to use a single fare card for both transit and bike share. More than 1,600 pass holders have registered to use the bikes since opening.
The Pilot project is the first phase of bike sharing throughout Los Angeles County that could potentially bring up to 4,000 bicycles to communities.
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