Breeze Bike Share presented by Hulu has begun transforming Santa Monicans relationship with the road by giving residents, workers, and visitors a new option for moving around the city in 2016. Every week hundreds of new users are choosing bike share for short trips around town because the system is convenient, flexible, and easy-to-use. Breeze offers 500 bikes and 70 stations throughout Santa Monica-with more on the way, including stations in nearby Venice. Since launching last November over 5,200 people have joined the bike share program, taking 19,887 trips and traveling 44,260 miles on the City of Santa Monica owned system. This equates to an estimated 2,003,868 calories burned and 44,176 lbs. of carbon kept from the atmosphere.
Bike share is an important component in the City’s overall strategy to offer sustainable transportation options that reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and improve mobility, community health, and the overall quality of life in Santa Monica. Bike share’s arrival has helped raise awareness about bicycling as an attractive form of transportation. City officials expect membership to continue to grow with other mobility improvements in 2016–like the spring arrival of the Expo Light Rail and expansion of the bike network throughout the city.
Through the first year of operation the City and system operator will be fine-tuning the bike share system to maximize operational efficiency, customer usefulness, and safety. Such adjustments could include station relocations or expansions, website and mobile app changes, new membership programs or offers, and events or unique opportunities to ride. As more and more people take to the streets on Breeze bikes, here is a list of things you need to know to Breeze like a pro in 2016:
1. Choose the best plan for you: Breeze offers numerous membership plans to help minimize the cost to users, including “pay-as-you-go” (pro-rated 10/min), monthly (30 or 60 daily ride time), or annual (30 or 60 daily ride time) memberships. When choosing consider how often you plan to ride, how long your trips will be, and how often you would like to pay for your membership.
2. Know the system area: The Breeze system area extends north to San Vicente, south to Venice Blvd, and east to I-405. The smart bike technology allows you to ride beyond those boundaries, however an additional $20 convenience fee will be charged if the bike is locked outside of the system area. Bikes can be put on hold outside the system area without incurring the convenience fee.
3. Secure your ride. Use the hold feature: Placing the bike on “hold” temporarily suspends the bike for an hour so users can visit local businesses. The timer remains ticking, and the user is charged as if they are riding the bike (pro-rated 10/min). This option is convenient if there is no hub nearby or if there are no bikes at a close by hub. Using the “hold” option allows users to assure that they will have a bike when they are ready to continue their ride. The hold feature is especially useful if you are outside of the system area.
4. Don’t forget the lock or “u-bar”: After the lock u-bar is removed from the bike, place the u-bar in its holster. The holster is located on the left side of the bike if you are standing behind the bike facing the back wheel. It is mounted to the rear controller panel of the bicycle. To properly holster the u-bar, slide the u-bar into the slots with the prongs facing the ground.
5. Out-of-hub fees are in effect: Smart bike technology allows users to lock Breeze Bikes to any public bike rack in the system area (not only Breeze hubs) when there is no hub nearby. However, to encourage use of Breeze hubs and to reduce operational costs, a $2 convenience fee is charged for using this feature. To avoid out of hub fees, return bikes to hubs or use the hold feature during short stops.
6. Collect bike bounties: Bikes that are locked outside of a Breeze hub can be returned by any user to a hub for a $1 credit to your account, which can be used toward ride time overages or out of hub lock-ups.
7. Help us maintain the fleet. Report broken bikes: You can report a broken bike by using the bike’s back panel controller upon lock-up, or on your mobile app by selecting the repair icon (red triangle with an exclamation point) and typing a brief description of the problem before submitting.
For more information or to join the thousands of Breeze riders, visit www.breezebikeshare.com.
– Kyle Kozar, Bike Share Coordinator