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Bike share program to roll into Downtown Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- As the center of the regional transit system, Downtown is already one of Los Angeles’ easiest neighborhoods to navigate. Now, for those willing to use pedal power, it’s about to get even easier.

The City Council last week approved a new permitting process that officials say will pave the way for a robust bike share program in Downtown, Westwood, Venice and Hollywood.

Run by Irvine-based Bike Nation, the system would be comprised of stations situated on sidewalks where users can check out a three-speed, chainless bike. Users pay a fee that varies depending on the length of their trip.

Eventually, the system will consist of up to 400 rental stations with 4,000 bikes furnished at no cost to the city by Bike Nation. In the Downtown area, Bike Nation has approvals to eventually permit and install 125 stations.

For now, the company has identified 10 Civic Center locations that will function as test facilities for the first 60 to 90 days after the facilities notch permits, which is expected in the coming month. During that initial period, only a select group of public employees from the city, county and state will be able to access the two wheelers.

In order to work out the inevitable kinks in the program, city officials requested that Bike Nation implement a testing period before opening the system to the general public, said Derek Fretheim, chief operating officer of Bike Nation.

“We’re really creating new territory,” Fretheim said.

The stations could be ready as soon as May, but the timeline for use by the general public is uncertain, said Fretheim. He hopes to have it open to the public during the summer.

Read the full story in Los Angeles Downtown News HERE.