bikesharefeaturedLos Angeles County’s first public bike-share system is now open. If you live in Santa Monica and need an easy, convenient way to get from Point A to Point B, you can take your pick from 500 bright-green, GPS-equipped bicycles at 75 stations throughout the city. The new program, called Breeze Bike Share, also features four racks in neighboring Venice.

How does this work? You have a couple of options:

  1. Rent a bike from one of 10 Breeze kiosks using your credit card, which will be linked to your Metro TAP card or a membership card. All bikes have a scanner that will read both of these cards.
  1. You will be given an account number that you can manually enter on the bicycle keypad whenever you don’t have your card.SoBi on mobile devices
  1. You can also sign up to reserve a bike online or by downloading the Social Bicycles app, available for iPhone and Android.
  1. No matter the method you choose, you will be given a 4-digit PIN number. Once prompted, enter the code on the keypad. Then you can release the bike by pulling out the yellow lock bar and placing it in the holster.
  1. Enjoy the Breeze as you bike to your destination. For quick stops during your ride, use the HOLD button by the keypad. To unlock again, enter your PIN.
  1. When you reach your destination, return the bike to a Breeze rack. For an extra $2, you can opt to return the bike to any rack in the city. Lock the bike and check the screen on the bike for return confirmation.

During test runs, city officials found that the average ride was about a mile long and lasted anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.

What’s even more exciting is that Long Beach, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood and UCLA will all be using the same bike-share vendor for their programs, which means you will be able to bike from area to area.

Hooray for progress! Scroll down for photos from last week's launch.