Ari Bloomekatz reports on the plans for what will eventually become the second largest bike-share system in the United States, which were set to be unveiled at a news event on Thursday with "Bike Nation executives, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and L.A. Clippers basketball star and cycling advocate Caron Butler." (What is it with NBA stars and bikes?)
In April of next year, Bike Nation will begin rolling out the first of 4,000 rental bikes at several stations in downtown Los Angeles. "According to initial plans, cyclists in L.A. will be able to rent bikes for $6 a day, or $1.50 for an hour or $4.50 for 90 minutes. Trips shorter than 30 minutes will be free; one-year passes will run $75," writes Bloomekatz.
Apparently, the private funding plan has drawn criticism from those concerned that "the city could be missing out on future revenues from sponsorship deals and advertising on the bikes and kiosks." However, says Bloomekatz, "[c]ity officials contend they can't lose because Bike Nation (and any other bike-share company that wants to set up a program in the city) must secure their locations through a permitting process, and that the city could choose to change course after the permits expire."