Bikesharing might finally be coming to Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday awarded an $11 million contract to Philadelphia’s Bicycle Transit Systems Inc. to bring a bikeshare program to Los Angeles next year, starting in downtown L.A.
Metro spokesman Dave Sotero said Bicycle Transit Systems, which runs bikeshare programs in Philadephia and Oklahoma City, is a proven and experienced vendor.
“From our perspective, they are the best team to implement bike sharing in L.A. because they have the experience and the proven equipment and technology,” Sotero said. “L.A. needs a vendor that can meet its requirements, and the board today gave us that.”
The bikeshare system, which allows users to rent bikes for short periods from automated kiosks, is expected to be launched in the spring of next year with 65 stations, all in downtown Los Angeles. The system is expected to expand to Pasadena in 2017, according to Metro officials.
A previous plan to bring bikesharing to Los Angeles hit a snag two years ago when Tustin’s Bike Nation had to delay and ultimately scrap its planned launch. Bike Nation planned to privately finance its system, in part by selling ads on bikes and on bike kiosks located around the city. But that plan ran afoul of city advertising contracts.