On November 7th, 250 lime-colored bicycles popped up on street corners throughout Los Angeles’ 15th Council District. The phone-app connected smart bikes are on a three-month pilot program in the Harbor Area, worked out with Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino.
Riders can rent a bike for just $1 per half-hour from various corners throughout San Pedro, Wilmington and Watts. Riders just download the FREE LimeBike phone app to locate nearby bikes using GPS.
The green-and-yellow “smart” bikes are the latest in what’s become a technological revolution sweeping cities and transportation. The bikes are free floating and can be picked up or left without having to visit a dock or bike share station. The new free-standing bikes do away with the need for building costly docking stations and infrastructure used in other city-sponsored bike share programs. All LimeBikes have GPS, making them easily tracked and a deterrent to theft.
“The city has been approached by several new dockless bike-sharing companies to operate in Los Angeles,” Buscaino’s motion reads. “These systems allow riders to use an application on their phone to find and unlock nearby bicycles and drop them off anywhere bikes are allowed. No docking stations or kiosks are required, which provides maximum flexibility for riders. … This new bike-share model will allow the city to explore new transportation options, particularly for first- and last-mile system challenges.”
Unlike the Los Angeles County’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s bike share program — which debuted with much fanfare on the San Pedro-Wilmington waterfront only two months ago — LimeBikes are cheaper to use ($1 versus $3.50 per half-hour) and offer hassle-free pickup and drop-off options. By making the bikes dockless, they are more cost-effective and are virtually free for cities to use. By contrast, bringing the Metro bike share program to the LA Waterfront costs both the city and port close to $1 million.
LimeBike , a San Mateo-based company that launched only this year, is now valued at $255 million. Nearly 3,000 rides have been taken on the LimeBikes since they arrived in the 15th Council District two weeks ago, according to LimeBike stats.
Download the app and take a ride today!