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In the wake of a deeply divisive and hard fought election, both locally and nationally, Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole is calling for unity and a celebration of what makes Santa Monica special at this Saturday’s 1st birthday party for Southern California’s first bike share program.

Breeze Bike Share (brought to you by Hulu) is planning a community ride and open house this Saturday and Cole waisted no time yesterday using the occasion with a call for unity at various websites and social media forums across the Internet. A full rundown of the events can be found at the end of the story.

“Many are deeply unhappy with various election results. But this Saturday, we have an opportunity to come together on something truly unifying — Breeze Bike Share celebrates its first anniversary,” writes Cole at one of many posts on Facebook. “A year ago, Santa Monica became the first city in our region to pioneer bike share — and like Expo it has been a promising success! Rides are free on Saturday — and a big community bike ride to celebrate gathers at the 17th Street Expo station at 2 pm with a roll out at 2:30 pm.”

“At a time when the new Administration threatens to undo our nation’s climate change commitments, let’s show we in Santa Monica are united in supporting transportation alternatives. Let’s ride!”

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In just a year, Breeze has already become a part of the fabric of the city. With nearly 43,000 subscribers who have ridden over 618,000 miles on 285,000 trips, Breeze has become part of the fabric of the city. Nearly half of all trips taken, 47%, were by Santa Monica residents with another quarter being other citizens of L.A. County. While tourists are certainly encouraged to cycle on Breeze, only 3 in 10 trips are taken by out-of-towners.

Since the launch, the City has responded to riders’ suggestions by adding 12 stations to the system, and making Breeze more affordable by extending daily ride time for annual, monthly, and student members from 30-60 minutes to 90 minutes. Breeze now also offers reduced rates for residents living in affordable housing through Community Corporation of Santa Monica. Reduced rates are now also offered for employers that want to bulk purchase memberships for employees. The City anticipates these programs will invite new riders to try bike share and get more people Breezing more often.

Join the City, Breeze Bike Share, and other Breeze riders on Saturday, November 12 to celebrate the successful first year of Breeze:

  • Community Ride and Open House, 2:30 p.m.: Santa Monica Spoke will host a Community Ride leaving from the 17th Street Expo Station at 2:30 p.m. It will end with an open house at Breeze Operations HQ,1631 Colorado Avenue. Snacks and refreshments will be provided. RSVP to Santa Monica Spoke.

 

  • Free Rides on Breeze: Monthly, annual, and student members will not be charged for ride time exceeding the 90 minutes included with membership. Pay-as-you-go members will not be charged for their ride time. Not a member? Give it a try by signing up for a Pay-As-You-Go membership at www.breezebikeshare.comor download the Social Bicycles app.

 

The public is invited to share their Breeze experience on November 12 by using #BreezeBike and #GoSaMo on social media.

About Breeze Bike Share

Breeze Bike Share is owned by the City of Santa Monica and is an important component in the City’s overall strategy to offer sustainable vehicle trip alternatives that reduce emissions, and improve mobility, community health, and the overall quality of life in Santa Monica. For more information or to join the thousands of Breeze riders, visit www.breezebikeshare.com.For more information on multi-modal options in Santa Monica, visit www.smgov.net/gosamo.

(Editor’s note : The last half of this story, starting with “since the launch” comes directly from a press release.)