In 2011, Santa Monica adopted the City’s Bike Action Plan, which prioritized the creation of a local and regionally connected bike share system with the mission of reducing vehicle trips and emissions, encouraging broader bicycle ridership, expanding mobility options for people of all socio-economic backgrounds, creating a first/last-mile connection to the new Expo Light Rail, and improving the overall quality of life in Santa Monica. With support from LA Metro and the Air Quality Management District, Santa Monica launched LA County’s first bike share system—Breeze Bike Share—in November 2015.
Breeze’s 500-bike fleet is owned by the City of Santa Monica, operated by Cyclehop, and sponsored by Hulu. In 2018, Breeze partnered with local bike share systems in UCLA, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood through an interoperability agreement to create the Bike Share Connect Regional Network, which gives members access to all the 700 bikes in the regional system with one membership. Since its launch, Breeze has attracted over 124,000 subscribers that have generated over 878,000 trips and ridden over 2.1 million miles. The system has offered targeted outreach and education programs and offers special rate programs for students, low-income community members, and employers who wish to provide bike share to their employees.
Emergency relief work:
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation began to rapidly evolve in March 2020, Santa Monica quickly took action to put in place emergency orders that closed local businesses and public facilities, protected community members and businesses from the pandemic’s economic fallout, and enforced the state and county stay-at-home orders. As a part of these actions, the City took decisive steps to ensure that community members and workers continued to have access to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation options through this uncertain time for essential trips.
For example, the City waived Big Blue Bus fares, and required passengers enter through rear doors to protect bus drivers. The City also recognized that not all community members who may normally rely on public transit may feel comfortable riding busses while still adhering to social distancing guidelines or have access to a private vehicle. For that reason, the City decided continue to operate the Breeze Bike Share system’s full service and provide Pay-as-you-go, Student, Monthly, Bike Share for All (low-income plan), and Annual members with free 90-minute trips with an unlimited number of trips per day through the initial Stay-at-Home order. Breeze operations staff have also increased the daily frequency with which they clean and sanitize the fleet and maintenance vehicles, provided appropriate personal protective equipment/cleaning supplies to and staff, encouraged distancing for all maintenance/ field crews, and required teleworking for non-maintenance staff.