SANTA MONICA, CA — Lyft introduced a new electric bike system, offering bike-sharing this week for people in Santa Monica and across the Westside.
There are now more than 80 Breeze stations offering the hybrid ebikes from Lyft. Breeze is a public bike share program from the city of Santa Monica and has offered free bike rides throughout the pandemic. Locals can already access the green bikes at stations across town, and this next move from Lyft is the company's first step into bicycle sharing.
"The new ebikes will be docked at the existing Breeze stations, ensuring there is no gap in service once the current Breeze program ends in November," Lyft said in a news release. "In the next few months, Lyft will ramp up its fleet to 500 ebikes, becoming Lyft’s second bikeshare network in the country to go all-electric."
People can check out the ebikes in the Lyft app using the bicycle icon. The app will tell users when there are ebikes nearby. You can tap a station to find a bike and view a map. It starts at $1 to unlock + $0.34 per min. Community Pass members can pay $5 per month and $0.05 per min to ride.
"Whether you’re going that first mile or that last mile, ebikes are a fun, affordable way to get around town," Lyft said.
Each hybrid ebike also comes with a cable to lock to any Breeze station for free. You can also lock to a public bike rack within the West Los Angeles service area for an extra $1.
Cyclists still have to follow the rules of the road and are encouraged to wear helmets. Riders are also urged to do a quick pre-ride check:
Adjust the seat to fit your height.
Check the tires and squeeze the brakes.
Something amiss? Keep the ebike locked and tap the (flag) in the upper right-hand corner of your Lyft app to report the problem. Then choose a different bike.
Pedal to start — and get going.
Bike lanes and roads are the best routes for cyclists, and bicycles should remain off the sidewalk unless it's time to park the bike, the company said.
Some areas will be off-limits for the Lyft ebikes, including locations in Santa Monica where pedestrians frequent.
"Due to city regulations, pedal assist won’t function in select areas of the city, including the Beach Bike Path, Pier, Promenade, and public parks," according to the company.
Jump, which was sold by Uber to Lime, had previously placed electric bicycles in Santa Monica, however, the bicycles left the city in May following the sale, according to Santa Monica Daily Press.
Apps like Bird and Lyft have remained popular throughout the last few months of quarantine in September and the companies continue to offer electric scooters in Santa Monica. Breeze bikes have remained free for riders throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with the program scheduled to end in November. Bike Share Connect membership is required to participate in the bike share.
“Through a partnership with the city, we are excited to bring ebikes to Santa Monica to help reduce congestion and emissions, by providing another transportation option for residents and visitors,” said David Fairbank, General Manager for Lyft Bikes & Scooters in Southern California. “Santa Monica already knows and loves our Lyft scooters, and we’re excited to provide yet another form of fun, active and naturally physically distant transportation to help residents get around at this time. Riders can now easily access ebikes, as well as scooters, all with a few taps in the Lyft app.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to see Lyft launch its new ebike program in Santa Monica. Our future depends on sustainable, active transportation like ebikes. They reduce our carbon footprint and increase accessibility for the entire community,” said Mayor Pro Tem Terry O'Day.
Lyft also offers a Community Pass for bikes and scooters in Santa Monica. The Lyft Community Pass is a reduced-fare membership program for qualifying residents of Santa Monica and LA. Membership costs $5 per month and includes discounted ebike rides at $0.05 per minute. The Community Pass program is available to residents ages 18 and older who qualify for the Big Blue Bus Low Income Fare is Easy program, Calfresh, Medicaid, SNAP, or the SCE Energy Savings Assistance Program and to qualifying Santa Monica Community College students.
“Santa Monica looks forward to the availability of Lyft ebikes within the city. This new service by Lyft will provide people with another sustainable and easy option for getting around and builds upon the city’s many shared mobility efforts that started with the launch of Breeze bikes almost five years ago,” said Francie Stefan, Chief Mobility Officer, City of Santa Monica. “Ebikes are growing in popularity because of the welcome boost they give to travel more easily or further, and as an outdoor mobility option in our year-round temperate climate.”
Visit Lyft's website to learn more about ebikes in Santa Monica.