USC will be one of the first locations for the Metro Transit Association’s $11 million bike sharing program with Bicycle Transit Systems for Los Angeles.
The program will begin in Spring 2016 with 65 bike sharing stations. In downtown Los Angeles alone, there will be more than 1,000 bicycles, and Metro plans to expand the program to Pasadena and other surrounding L.A. communities. In total, there are to be 4,000 bicycles throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.
The program will start with several stations at Downtown landmarks, including Pershing Square, Grand Park, the Staples Center and USC.
David Donovan, associate director of USC Transportation at the Health Sciences Campus, said the exact locations around USC have yet to be determined, but they will most likely be near the Figueroa Corridor.
According to Donovan, the Figueroa corridor will be experiencing changes to accommodate more bicycles due to a program called MyFigueroa.
“The Corridor will be undergoing renovation to add a dedicated bike lane in both directions in the next 18 months as part of the same project,” Donovan said.
Donovan notes that while this program is for the whole Los Angeles community, it specifically is beneficial to USC students.
“It will connect USC students to areas in downtown Los Angeles, including the Convention Center, Staples Center and L.A. Live by means of a separate and dedicated bike lane away from vehicle traffic.” Donovan said.
USC Transportation looks forward to the program in Los Angeles.
“We agree with Metro that the time is right for Los Angeles residents to continue to pursue alternate, green forms of transportation and can’t wait to see the bicycle program implemented,” Donovan wrote in an email.
Some students at USC are excited for the new and convenient initiative. Annisah Garrett-Gianardi, a senior majoring in psychology, said the bike program will make getting around town easier.
“It will make getting to and from classes, as well as going downtown a lot easier to do,” Gianardi said. “I am looking forward to riding with friends that do not have bikes around L.A. now too.”
Sarah Greene, a junior majoring in economics, said she thinks the program will allow students to experience downtown Los Angeles in a new way.
“I am the type of person who religiously takes the Metro to Downtown, but I miss riding my bike like I do at home all the time,” Greene said. “I can’t wait to experience going downtown to new places with a bicycle. I think it will make Downtown a lot more fun.”