Los Angeles was supposed to roll out a bike share program this summer. Bike Nation, the company that was to be responsible for implementing the program, wanted 4,000 bicycles scattered across the city that persons interested in using to commute could rent.
However, as many Los Angeles citizens can probably attest, the system has yet to be rolled out. And according to a Los Angeles Times report, it apparently has to do with advertising contracts that could hinder Bike Nation’s ability to make money off of the endeavor.
At the moment, the city has contracts with JCDecaux and CBS Outdoor. These companies apparently have the exclusive right to advertise on things like newsstands and bus stops. Bike Nation was going to supplement revenue from the actual renting of bikes by offering their 400 kiosks up for advertising purposes. But those aforementioned exclusive advertising contracts apparently would preclude Bike Nation’s ability to do so.
Different means of making money, such as corporate sponsorship, are being considered, and the program will hopefully be available in 2014. Other cities have used corporate sponsorship to get such an endeavor off of the ground.
In the meantime, citizens who choose to bike to work should understand the importance of safety. Helmets are important whether you rent or own a bike, and anyone using a shared bike must follow the rules of the road. Ride with traffic and don’t endanger pedestrians by moving up onto the sidewalk.