City officials are recommending “Breeze” for the name of the city’s new bikeshare system.

City Hall solicited opinions on five potential names for the system and 77 percent of respondents said they liked or loved the name “Breeze.” Only 23 percent of the 460 who took the survey responded negatively to the name.
City Council will have the final say on Tuesday.

They voted unanimously in November to have city officials negotiate a $5.6 million contract with CycleHop for the purchase, installation, and operation of 500 bikes and 65 to 75 stations throughout the city and beyond.
Contract extensions could bring the total cost to $10.4 million over an 8-year period.

Bikeshares allow riders to check-out bikes from one station and drop them off at any other station in the area.
“Breeze references Southern California’s airy, bright coastal climate and lifestyle and sums up the sensation of bike riding, conveying the ease of bike share transportation,” city officials said in a report to council.

“The name is light, easy to grasp,” they continued, “and sets a good tone for system users to enjoy their ride and get into the spirit of moving through Santa Monica.”

WeGo placed second in the survey.

“Developed as a shortened version that incorporates ‘We’ from the Westside concept to both tie to the region and indicate that the bikeshare system helps you get up and go,” city officials said.

Least popular was the name MiGo, which city officials said, is “a quick way to say ‘I go’ that also hints to the Spanish word ‘amigo.'”

Officials are also recommending that council put forth a name for whatever consortium emerges after Metro approves its bikeshare.

Metro had asked city officials not to move forward with the system; they wanted Santa Monica to wait so that they could ensure compatibility. With the $2 million worth of grants moving closer to expiration, council decided it couldn’t wait any longer.

“Westside Ride” is the name they recommend for umbrella system, which could encompass both Santa Monica’s and Metro’s systems.

Under City Hall’s proposed agreement with CycleHop, City Hall would serve as the system operator, meaning it would be in charge of procuring a sponsor for the bikeshare. The sponsorship will help offset costs. City officials announced in their report to council that sponsorship names could appear on the basket between the bikes’ handlebars and also on the triangular area next to the back wheel.

Once council has selected a name, the city consultant will develop the concept and prepare specifications for coloring and marking the bikes and equipment.

The survey, which asks its takers what they thought of the five proposed names — Breeze, WeGo, Westside Ride, bLink, and MiGo — also included a section for suggested names. More than 150 people came up with their own idea for what the bikeshare should be called.

Here are a few of the standouts: “Wheeling Groovy,” “Roadkill,” “Kudzoom!” “The Big Blue Bike,” “Waste Of My Taxes,” “Smeevy,” “WIZZper,” “Idiot Ride” and “nOObs new bikeshare.”

City officials did not recommend any of the names put forth by survey-takers, a majority of whom said they do not use public transportation regularly.

dave@www.smdp.com

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