Thanks so much to our friend, Julia Salinas, at The Source for this info about LA’s new Bike Share service. While the service is located only Downtown now, Metro is planning a city-wide expansion soon.
1. What is bike share?
Bike share is a public bike system for short trips. You can use any of the bikes in any dock any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year. The system uses special bikes that lock into docks placed around in many locations throughout downtown Los Angeles — every couple blocks.
2. Where is it?
The first pilot phase of Metro Bike Share is in downtown Los Angeles, where there will be up to 65 stations. The above map shows the location of stations; a dynamic version of the map is here.
Download our Metro Bike Share app for a real-time map of available bikes and locations of docking stations.
3. Where do I lock up the bike?
At the Metro Bike Share station nearest your destination — and there are stations close to most destinations. If you don’t dock the bike, the clock keeps running on your tab. If you’re not riding, just dock it.
4. How do I use Metro Bike Share?
To use a bike after purchasing a pass, simply tap a TAP card to the dock to unlock the bike. Ride to your destination and then return the bike to the nearest dock.
Make sure to follow the rules of the road like riding with the flow of traffic and stopping at stop signs. In DTLA, the following streets have bike lanes:
- Main Street between Cesar Chavez and Venice Boulevard (the stretch between Cesar Chaves and 9th is for northbound riders).
- Springs Street between Cesar Chavez and 9th Street (for southbound riders).
- Olive Street between 7th Street and Washington Boulevard.
- Grand Avenue between Wilshire Boulevard and Washington Boulevard.
- Los Angeles Street between 1st Street and Alameda Street — the lane begins/ends right in front of Union Station.
- 2nd Street between Spring Street and 1st Street.
- 1st Street between Beaudry Avenue and San Pedro Street.
- 3rd Street between San Pedro Street and Santa Fe Avenue.
- 7th Street between Main Street and the 110 freeway (and beyond, all the way to Catalina Street).
- Figueroa Street between Wilshire Boulevard and Cesar Chavez Ave./Sunset Blvd.
- 11th Street between Broadway and Wall Street.
We strongly encourage riding on the street to be courteous to pedestrians on sidewalks. Remember, even if there is no bike lane, every lane is a bike lane. See this post from LADOT for more information about riding on sidewalks.
The bikes and docks have information and instructions on them. If you need further information, please call customer service at 1-844-857-BIKE (844-857-2453) or email at email@example.com.
5. How much does it cost to ride a bike?
The Monthly Pass is the all-you-can-eat option. For $20 per month, you can ride the system as much as you want in 30-minute increments. This is the best deal for those who will be riding three or more times each week.
The Annual Flex Pass is the pay-as-you-go option for the occasional rider. For $40 a year, you get access to Metro Bikes for $1.75 for every 30-minute ride.
Pass holders must register with a credit card to use a bike (this discourages theft). Your TAP card is then used to quickly and easily unlock a bike at the docking stations. Please see this post for more about TAP cards and Metro Bike Share.
6. What if I don’t have a TAP card?
You can get a new one in the mail when you buy a Metro Bike Share Pass. Or get a TAP card at any TAP Vending Machine (at all Metro Rail and Orange Line stations) and then register the card as part of purchasing your Monthly or Annual Flex Pass.
After August 1, the Walk-Up option will become available. With Walk-Up, you don’t need a TAP card to get a Metro Bike. You access the system with a credit card at the kiosk at each station. Walk-Up rates are $3.50 per half hour. This is the best choice for very occasional users and tourists.
Pro Tip: If you are a visitor but you plan to ride six or more times during your stay, the $20 Monthly Pass is a better deal.
7. Do I need a helmet? What about lights? Where do I put my stuff?
In California, those riding bikes aged 17 and under are legally required to wear a helmet. If 18 or over, helmet use is up to you. If you want to use a helmet, please bring your own. Metro Bike Share does not provide them.
The bikes come equipped with lights and reflective paint for night riding. The bikes also have baskets in front behind the big Metro M that can carry a small grocery bag.
8. Are the bikes in good condition?
Yes. The bikes are frequently maintained so you don’t have to worry about chains breaking or under-inflated tires. Trust us — the bikes are built like tanks. They are heavy, sturdy, and ride smoothly so you even a novice rider can feel safe over a rough patch of road.
9. Does it work with Santa Monica’s bike share system?
The key to moving between bike share systems is your TAP card. Register it with both systems and you can use a single TAP card to access bikes in both DTLA and Santa Monica. Long term, we’re working towards more integration, so that you don’t have to have multiple accounts.
Also, let’s be practical. If you’re intending to ride between Santa Monica and DTLA, you’re going to need a bike for more than 30 minutes. In that case, you’ll probably want a traditional rental bike and something a little more nimble and lighter. That are plenty of bike rental shops in Santa Monica as well as L.A.