Will Los Angeles' Bike-Sharing Program Survive Its First Real Test?

Posted: Jul. 3rd, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse

Bike sharing isn't anything new or untried and it's actually popular from Vienna to Amsterdam, and from New York to Los Angeles, but it's Los Angeles iteration has hit a nasty snarl that may kill the program before it has a chance to really get off the ground. A conflict between city agreements and their advertising might see the program go unfunded, and that means the pollution-reducing program may well be killed in its infancy.

In spring 2012, Tustin company Bike Nation predicted the first phase of its L.A. bike-share program would be up and running by summer 2013. Soon after, officials said, as many as 4,000 bikes would be available to rent by the hour, the day or the week — similar to CitiBike, the program that launched in New York City last month to much fanfare.

To make money, the company planned to sell advertising on the 400 sleek, silver rental kiosks that it would place around Los Angeles. But a contract between the city and two media firms will almost certainly prevent that from happening, the company recently learned.

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Eric Rosen
Eric Rosen lives in Los Angeles and writes about food, wine, travel and adventure... usually in some combination of the four. He regularly contributes to Los Angeles...

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