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Santa Monica’s Bikeshare Program Named “Breeze”

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

February 12, 2015 -- An upcoming City program that allows people to rent bicycles at stations throughout Santa Monica and drop them off when they reach a destination earned a name from the City Council on Tuesday. It will be called “Breeze,” which was the most popular choice in an online survey.

The City staff report says the name “references Southern California’s airy, bright coastal climate and lifestyle and sums up the sensation of bike riding, conveying the ease of bike share transportation.”

Seventy-seven percent of the 460 people who responded to the survey “loved” or “liked” the name. Twenty-three percent found the name “less favorable” or “didn’t like” it.

The council approved the staff recommendation for the name with mostly no comments, although Councilmember Ted Winterer joked, “Given the level of contention in this city, I’m very impressed that the name 'Breeze' only had a 23 percent negative response.”

Other names that were proposed in the survey included “WeGo” (60 percent liked/loved), “Westside/Ride” (57 percent liked/loved), “bLINK” (53 percent liked/loved), “MiGo” (36 percent liked/loved).

There were also several interesting write-in votes, including “No Bikeshare in Santa Monica,” “Road Kill” and “Idiot Ride.”

The Santa Monica program is being partially funded through a grant from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), and is the first part of what is expected to become a regional program.

Council members approved City staff’s recommendation for “Westside Ride” as a name for the regional program.

Five-hundred bikes will be included in the Santa Monica program, and to offset the cost of maintenance, they will feature advertisements.

Council members approved a staff recommendation that the sponsorship logos only appear on the bicycles’ front baskets and along the triangular frames next to the back wheels.

There will be no advertisements on the 75 bike stations.

The council in November approved a $5.6 million contract with Miami Beach-based CycleHop for the purchase, installation, and operation of the program. It will feature so-called Smart Bikes that have automatic lights for nighttime travel.

People can pay for the bicycles at the station, then locks are released via a web-based software. Monthly memberships are also possible.

The cost to use the service, according to a recent City staff report, would be $2 for every 20 minutes of use or $15 to $25 per month, with a limit of up to two hours per day for the highest membership fee.

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