Photo by Michael Yanow

The city’s incoming bikeshare, Breeze, is still on schedule to open this year, city officials say.

City Council will consider approving rates from the system during its budget meeting on Tuesday.

The bikeshare will allow riders to check out one of the system’s 500 bikes from one of 75 locations in the city and drop it off at another.

For an hour of riding, a tourist or an infrequent user will pay $6, if council approves the proposed rates.

More frequent riders can pay $20 per month for 30 minutes of daily riding time or $25 per month for an hour of daily riding.

A basic annual pass — which gives users 30 minutes of usage 365 days of the year — will run $119 and an extended pass, which bumps that ride time to an hour, would cost $149.

For Santa Monica residents, the basic annual pass will cost only $79 and the extended $99.

Santa Monica College students are offered the greatest discount: $47 for six months of 60 minute daily riding.

The $6 an hour casual fee simply buys 60 minutes of ride time that never expires. For monthly and annual passes, however, daily minutes do not roll over.

One of the things that city officials loved about the operator they selected, CycleHop, is that their technology allows bikes to be returned to locations other than the 75 stations throughout the city.

If a bike is returned to a regular bike rack — even if it’s not an official station —within the Santa Monica-area, riders will only pay an additional $2. If a rider hops on that bike, which is not connected to an official Breeze rack, and returns it to a Breeze station, she’ll get a $1 credit for bikeshare usage.

If a bike is locked up outside of the Santa Monica-area, the rider will pay a $20 fee.

If a bike is returned to a generic bike rack within 100 feet of a hub that is full, the rider won’t be charged $2.

Council agreed to pay CycleHop $5.6 million for installation and operation of the bikeshare. They plan to recoup some of that money through a corporate sponsorship. The sponsor hasn’t been selected yet but, city planner Elizabeth Bar-El said, an agency is helping City Hall with the search.

“The contract with CycleHop was signed a few months ago,” she said in an e-mail last month. “The Breeze name was selected by the Council and a bright green bike color was chosen. Equipment has been ordered and all is going well. The staff report noted that we would be testing the bike share system in the summer for a system launch by end of year, and we are still on target for both of these milestones.”

CycleHop has struggled with delays in all of the previous city’s it worked in but those contracts were different, putting more responsibility on the bikeshare company. Santa Monica is the system owner, meaning it finds the sponsors, sets fees, and collects revenues, which, city officials have said, takes pressure off the operator.

dave@www.smdp.com

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