Eyes on the Street: West Hollywood’s Got Bike-Share

West Hollywood's new bike-share system opened yesterday. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.
West Hollywood’s new bike-share system opened yesterday. Photos: Joe Linton/Streetsblog L.A.

The full system launch is not until August 30, but the city of West Hollywood soft-launched its bike-share system yesterday. WeHo Pedals now has dozens of bicycles available at four initial stations. Introductory annual memberships are just $69.

WeHo Pedals is operated by CycleHop, the same vendor that runs systems in Santa Monica (including Venice stations coming this month), Long Beach, Beverly Hills, and, coming soon, UCLA. The bikes are “smart bikes” meaning that the electronics are located on the bike itself, not the dock. Bikes can be locked up at designated docks, or at other locations within the service area. The system coverage area overlaps with neighboring Beverly Hills, so cyclists can pick up a bike in WeHo and leave it in Beverly Hills.

WeHo Pedals system map
WeHo Pedals system map – red dots are initial stations open now. Image via WeHo Pedals [PDF]
Nearly all of the bike-share stations are along Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood’s central spine. The four stations currently available are:

  • West Hollywood City Hall, 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
  • West Hollywood Park, 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard
  • Santa Monica Boulevard at N. Crescent Heights Boulevard
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between Holloway Drive and N. Olive Drive

Get all the fabulous details at WeHo Pedals website. More photos from yesterday’s launch after the jump. 

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WeHo Pedals’ soft launch yesterday at West Hollywood City Hall, in the shadow of the city’s new robo-garage for cars
WeHoPedals4
WeHo Pedals’ sturdy front basket with fun messaging
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WeHo Pedals bike-share is available for use right now
  • ExpoRider

    Joe: You mention “Venice stations coming this month”, but the link takes me to a news article from February. Is there actually any new news about the Breeze expansion into Venice? Back in February Breeze did in fact open five stations in Venice, but they were virtual stations (i.e. they didn’t install their own Breeze docking stations) so the Breeze bikes ended up being parked in normal bike racks. This became a burden for the local areas where the virtual stations were located, and 4 of the 5 original stations were soon eliminated.

  • chairs missing

    Seems kinda odd to have a bike share system without actual bike lanes. I’d be terrified to ride the door zone on a stroad like Santa Monica Blvd. w/ cars barreling down on you at highway speeds.

  • PFT Future

    So the west side/ beach communities will have smart bike bike system and DTLA, eventually more of the City of LA, and people east will have smart dock stations, that’s interesting. Does anyone know if they have ever seen not only different system this close to each other let alone different technologies this close together? The primary users wont be tourist but they will be a part of the system as well as casual riders, do others think this will be a point of confusion or something that will be easily understandable due to different branding and information provided?

  • Jason

    Dozens of bikes, you say?

  • calwatch

    Yes, I am concerned about the non-compatibility, and the odd nature of the system extending all the way to Wilshire and to the Hollywood Red Line station. That means there are bikes, technically in the system area, which are able to be rented but are likely not going to be rented. The benefit of a dock based system is that stations are obvious and prevalent, whereas with a smart bike system it may lead more to people hunting for bikes.

  • ExpoRider

    12 and a half dozen eventually (i.e. 150 bikes). That sounds about right to serve the coverage area. By comparison Santa Monica Breeze has 500 bikes.

  • Joe Linton

    I am trying to get confirmation – but the rumor on the street is that the stations will go in soon – possibly next week.

  • Joe Linton

    Washington DC has overlapping systems – with a non-interoperable smart bike system serving a college campus area http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/30776/theres-bikeshare-in-college-park-now-but-it-isnt-capital-bikeshare-heres-why/

  • Joe Linton

    Half of Santa Monica Blvd in WeHo (the western half) has bike lanes. Bike-share may help generate support to extend these. But you can ride wherever you want.

  • PFT Future

    Thanks, I think it works a bit better for a college campus than for cities but I haven’t seen any studies or information on that matter so its just an slightly informed guess. It seems easier to manage as the users will likely stay in an easily defined area with obvious shorter trips likely from building to dorms and food court to dorm etc. Where as cities boundaries are a bit less defined and trips can go to a variety of places although one would hazard majority of bikes have predictable trip patterns. It would be interesting to see how college students or workers at campus or around campus; use the two systems or how they like or prefer each system.

  • PFT Future

    I agree that is going to be an issue and I think it will get even weirder with the docking stations working with tap card whereas the smart bikes don’t and there will certainly be a learning curve for both but I think a bit steeper for smart bike (also the need for a smart phone to locate a bike – for the most part- I know there are quasi docking stations but they are really just bike racks).

    There is debate between which system is better, I see benefits of both but do you think there are circumstances where one has a clear advantage over the other. Maybe small verse big towns or built-out transit system vs minimal transit maybe spread population vs denser locations. I feel like there is a time and place for each of the systems but I’m wondering if others are thinking the same or is one system just better overall?

  • Dennis_Hindman

    The bikes provided in the Cyclehop systems in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are much more vulnerable to theft and vandalism compared to the bicycle sharing system provided by Metro in downtown LA. There have been several generations of improvements made to bicycle sharing docking systems and the bikes used in them to lower the amount of thefts and vandalism. A bike lock cannot provide the degree of bike theft prevention that a docking station does. The cables on the bikes used in the Metro bike sharing system are covered to deter vandalism. The cables on the Cyclehop bikes are exposed. Its as if the designers of the Cyclehop bikes ignored experiences of theft and vandalism from bicycle sharing systems around the world when designing their system. Lowering the implementation cost was much more important to the bicycle sharing system used by Cyclehops than theft and vandalism. Time will tell what the rate of theft and vandalism is between the two bicycle sharing systems are in the LA area and how much significance this play in the operating costs.

  • ExpoRider

    Hmmm, rumors on the street, that’s not very encouraging.
    I’m growing concerned (paranoid?) that there may be some parochial [is that the correct word?] behavior at LADOT that is resisting encroachment of Cycle Hop systems (such as Breeze) into the City of Los Angeles. I believe that LADOT may see Cycle Hop as competition to the Metro Bike Share system. Venice and Marina del Rey are listed in the Regional Bike Share Implementation Plan, and scheduled for implementation in five years.
    Of course, LA has signed an agreement to act in good faith in the effort to help Santa Monica find locations to site docking stations for Breeze in Venice.

  • Sine Metu

    I ride SM Blvd from Hollywood to my office in Santa Monica every day and I can tell you that the bike lanes in WeHo are not good. Most of my incidents occur within them and not when I’m out in the lane in Beverly Hills or in Santa Monica proper. The lanes are thin and not respected and well within the door zone. Gelsons market in particular is notorious for conflicts. I do wonder how less experienced riders fare on them.

    Anecdotally, on Monday morning I saw Greg Laemmle controlling the lane on SM Blvd in West LA on a FOLDING BIKE. He was only the second person I have ever seen attempt such a feat over the years. I have footage of it from my forward bike cam if anyone is interested I will upload it.

    Much respect to Greg.

  • Joe Linton

    All these systems work with TAP card – smart-bike and smart-dock. Breeze TAP shown here: http://la.streetsblog.org/2015/11/12/bike-share-has-arrived-santa-monica-breeze-opens/

  • Joe Linton

    Confirmed: The first station in Venice is being installed Monday 8am at Rose and 5th.

  • ExpoRider

    We (LA) may go down in history as the unintentional test case to decide which kind of system is better. We’re the only place in the US where average residents (not just college students) will be exposed to both types of system and will be able to judge for ourselves which system works better.
    Worst case scenario, in five years (if both systems are still running strong) we may be asked to decide whether to choose the most popular system, or whether to continue operating competitive systems.
    Competition, what a concept! USA, USA!

  • Josh Kurpies

    The goal for both Metro and the Westside Cities has always been to encourage the most amount of people to try out and use bike share. I think it was a mistake introducing two different types of systems in a market not yet accustomed to using bike share, but that decision has been made already and it is what it is. The number one goal remains to encourage the most amount of people to try out and use bike share, and yes, in a few years we can decide which system is best, but for now we must focus on what’s most important…getting people to try it and continue to use it! Otherwise both systems fail.

  • Awesome post. I would go with Raleigh Furley. Thanks for writing up.

  • PFT Future

    Thanks, Joe I didn’t notice that when I used Breeze Bike for some reason. I just used my credit card to sign up and rent a bike. I’ll remember that for next time. That Metro logo makes more sense now.