By Jennifer Eden
Santa Monica’s Breeze Bike Share is going regional; combining with neighboring systems to enable cross-border biking with “dock-optional” abandonment.
The collaboration is hot on the heels of last week’s announcement that Uber now controls Santa Monica’s bikes: buying JUMP for $100 million; JUMP is the same company as Social Bicycles, the operator of Hulu Breeze Bikes.
On April 23, Breeze will combine with Beverly Hills Bike Share, WeHo Pedals Bike Share and UCLA’s Bruin Bike Share to form “one seamless bike share network available for residents, commuters, and visitors alike,” according to Santa Monica City.
The network will encompass a 35-square mile system area with 135 station locations and 830 GPS-connected Smart Bikes equipped with integrated computer and locking mechanism, the City said. “The network is a ‘dock-optional’ system, which allows users to find available bikes at stations or out-of-hub using the Social Bicycles app, and to lock up at designated stations or any public bike rack,” the City added.
Breeze experienced a decline in ridership recently with the invasion of Bird scooters in the last quarter of 2017, although year-on-year, Breeze has seen an increase in use this year, according to the City.
However, “as people have more transportation choices, we do expect to see some impacts on all modes, but Breeze ridership and membership is still strong,” the City said.
Existing users of Breeze Bike Share, Beverly Hills Bike Share, WeHo Pedals Bike Share and Bruin Bike Share programs will automatically have access to a new Bike Share Connect network that can be accessed via the Social Bicycles app.
“Consistent pricing throughout the network makes it easy for users to access the system,” the City said.
“Regional integration is one way the City and our partner municipalities are working together to make bike share an even more attractive way of getting around,” City Staff told The Mirror.
“Not all modes are for everyone. Some may be more comfortable on a bike, others on a scooter, or possibly both!” they added.
Social Bicycles cost $7 per hour pro-rated; Birds are 15 cents per minute plus a $1 fee.