Imagine you’re still on the hill and late for class. You need to make up for lost time and driving definitely isn’t an option. Alternatively, imagine you’re at North Campus, but you get the sudden urge to go see what’s happening in South Campus. Lastly, imagine you’re in the middle of campus, but need to catch a bus in Westwood. These and many more dilemmas can now be solved with the introduction of the Bruin Bike Share. Since October 3rd, the Bruin Bikes have become available to ride for all students on campus who sign up for the program.
Bike Share programs have been popping up recently in cities across the country. They support and accomplish several health-related goals of U.S. cities such as public health, sustainability, and traffic reduction. According to the Washington D.C. Department of General Services, “you can burn between 215-500 calories during a 30-minutes bike ride (based on a 10 mph average commuter pace).” Therefore, bikes are perfect for sustainability because they produce zero emissions. Bike Share programs also reduce traffic by promoting multimodality. Multimodality involves using different forms of transportation to reach one’s destination. Bike Share programs promote this by providing people with a faster way of traveling to and from bus, train, or shuttle stops.
CycleHop, the company behind Bike Share programs in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Long Beach, are also the ones behind the design of the brand new UCLA Bruin Bikes. Our bikes come with 8 adjustable speeds, a built-in lock, a bell, LED lights, an adjustable seat, and basket. And, of course, they are Bruin Blue in honor of one of UCLA’s main colors.
CycleHop is also partnered with Social Bikes, Inc. (SoBi). This company provides the wireless technology that enables users to reserve and unlock bikes with their smartphones. SoBi’s smartphone app provides the platform with which you create a pin code and account number to unlock the bikes for use. You will need to enter these numbers into a keypad on the bikes to check them out and use them. Using the SoBi app you can also view where the BikeShare hubs are located and how many bikes they are holding. This map is available at bruinbikeshare.com as well.
Overall there are 130 bikes between 18 hub locations. Users may unlock a bike at one location and leave it at another. This is especially beneficial for people who want to take one way bike rides to avoid lugging it around. Hub locations are currently available near popular spots on campus like the Wooden Center and Court of Sciences, as well as, Westwood Village. New locations may be built in the future based on data collected from the initial rollout.
Bruin Bikes can be paid for with yearly plans, monthly plans, or you can pay as you ride. For members of the UCLA community, a Founding Annual Plan can be purchased for $60.00 per year. It includes 90 minutes of pre-paid ride time and a UCLA helmet with other gifts. Users outside the UCLA system can purchase the same plan for $69.00. If you’d rather pay monthly, plans are $7.00 for UCLA members and $25.00 for others. These also include 90 minutes of ride time per day. Daily rates are $7.00 per hour and unused minutes can even be saved for a later date.
Overall, the Bruin BikeShare program has now been running successfully for three weeks since it launched at the start of the month of October. Usage and returning of the Bruin Bikes has been noticeable at the different hubs around campus, and students can be seen riding their rented bikes to and from classes, and around Westwood Village. If you’re interested in trying out the program yourself, please check out the Bruin BikeShare website at www.bruinbikeshare.com.
Teddy Tollin is a third year Geography major and Geographical Information Systems minor at UCLA. Besides working at his position as the BEWell pod blogger, Teddy is a member of the Transfer Student video team, Co-Chair of the Built Environment Public Health Coalition, and is passionate about Urban Planning.