B-Cycle Station image source: LADOT Bike Blog

Metro hosted a bike share demonstration on Wednesday, January 18 in front of their main office in Downtown LA.

For the unfamiliar - bike share programs allow users to rent a bike from one location and return the bike in another. Imagine renting a bike when you get off a bus in the Village and then parking the bike in another station in front of Ackerman Union.

Bike share programs have spread internationally in the last few years. Many cities have already launched bike share programs in order to help alleviate traffic congestion and promote alternative transportation within their metropolitan areas. LA city is hopefully looking to follow suit.

Today most bike share companies are operating 4th generation systems - rental stations are modular, solar powered, wireless and the bikes are fitted with GPS.

Three different bike share companies demonstrated their products at the event - B-Cycle, Bixi and Bike Nation.

B-Cycle launched bike share programs in Denver, Boulder, Chicago and Madison.

Bixi launched bike share programs in Montreal, Toronto, Washington D.C. and Boston. Bixi is also scheduled to launch a bike share program for New York City in the Summer of 2012.

Bike Nation is scheduled to launch their first program in Spring 2012. Bike Nation is locally operated in Southern California.

In conjunction with the Bike Share Demonstration, Metro planning staff presented their Bike Share Concept Report to the Metro Planning and Programming Committee. The Report discusses research gathered from different agencies that have already launched bike share programs, as well as potential bike share pilot locations within the Los Angeles County area.