Santa Monica’s new bike share system is expected to launch a pilot in a matter of weeks and the full system, with 500 bikes and 75 stations, will roll out by the end of this year.
In the meantime, Santa Monica is hammering out the details like where to put those 75 stations and how much it will cost to use the system. At an upcoming meeting, the Santa Monica City Council could answer the second question. The proposed fare structure is included in the Council’s budget discussion Tuesday.
If the Council approves the proposed rate structure, here’s what you can expect to pay to use “Breeze,” as Santa Monica is calling its new bike share system.
For an hour ride, “casual users” — a tourist, for example — expect to pay about $6 an hour.
While many systems, like Citi Bike in New York, allow unlimited short rides for members, Santa Monica is trying a different tack and is lobbying Metro to do the same [PDF], in order that the fee structure allow for the system to operate with little to no subsidy from the city.
A monthly a basic pass, at $20, will get you 30 minutes on a bike daily. For $25 a month, you can get an hour on a bike daily.
Annual passes will run you $119 and get you 30 minutes on a bike daily or $149 if you want the full hour. But, Santa Monica residents and members of a Transportation Management Agency, which will be formed in order to coordinate strategies to encourage people to commute by means other than single-occupancy vehicles, get discounts on the annual passes: $79 for 30-minute daily bike access and $99 for 60-minute daily bike access.
Santa Monica College students are eligible for special six-month passes (Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter term) for $47, which gives them 60-minute daily bike access.
The bike share system adopted by the City Council is a “smart bike” system instead of a “smart dock” system, like the one Metro is expected to approve next week.
That means all the technology is located on the bike instead of at the dock, theoretically allowing users to lock up the bikes at places other than designated bike-share hubs. But, there will be an incentive system built into the fare structure to encourage people to return bikes to hubs.
If a user leaves a bike outside of the system area — namely Santa Monica — then that user would pay a $20 fee. If that user leaves the bike within the service area but not at a designated hub, it will cost $2. If another user comes along and uses the bike not locked at a hub and later returns it to a hub, that user will receive a $1 credit. As noted in the above fee structure chart, anywhere within 100 feet of a hub is considered “in hub.”