Without Pasadena’s Backing, Metro Bike Share Racks, Bicycles Will Disappear Within Weeks

Metro won’t continue Bike Share Program on its own, decides to pedal out of Pasadena

Published : Monday, July 23, 2018 | 5:37 AM

The days of Metro Bike Share program bicycles and racks in Pasadena are numbered.

The City confirmed it formally informed L.A. Metro that it plans to end the program, which has seen lackluster ridership and revenue, within two months, according to Pasadena Department of Transportation Director Fred Dock.

Revenue was so low that the program’s costs threatened the City’s total transit operating budget, forcing Dock to cancel the program early.

“Pasadena has provided the required 60-day notification to Metro of the city’s intent to terminate the agreement with Metro,” he said. “We are now approximately one week into that notice period.”

The City’s decision means the end of the program in Pasadena, which began one year ago.

Under the agreement, the City put up 65 percent of the operating costs of the program. Projected ridership never materialized. By the time Pasadena pulled the plug, the program was costing $98,000 per month and the City was headed towards a total shortfall of $240,000.

Metro spokesman Dave Sotero said the agency will not continue the program on its own.

“While we are disappointed, we respect the City of Pasadena’s decision to discontinue Metro Bike Share,” he said.

The bikes and racks will soon vanish from city streets.

“For now we are looking at starting to remove stations starting in August,” Sotero said. “We will have a more concrete schedule [this] week.”

As of June, Metro reports ridership in Pasadena of about 41,000 since launch.

It started strong, with a high of more than 10,700 riders in September of 2017.

But by December, fewer than 4,000 people used the bikes.

Despite a lack of enthusiasm in Pasadena, Sotero said the Metro Bike Share program remains popular.

“Our program is strong and growing. We have recently made major improvements to the program, including dramatically reducing bike share fares and creating more fare options for riders. We plan to expand the system to more communities in L.A. County.”

And bike share, in some form, may one day return to Pasadena.

Some communities depend on private companies to provide bike share programs. Monrovia has allowed the Northern California-based startup LimeBike to place 200 of their green bikes — which riders access via a smartphone app — throughout the city.

Dock said City staff are exploring options.