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Santa Monica wins $500,000 grant to expand bike share program

Santa Monica and Global Green USA, an environmental nonprofit group, have received a $500,000 grant to expand the city's planned bike share program, expected to launch by the end of 2013.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District voted unanimously last week to approve the $500,000 in "clean transportation" funds. The project, which will feature about 35 stations with 350 bikes, is also being funded by $2.3 million from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city of Santa Monica.

Five of the stations are expected to be placed in adjacent Westside communities.

Bike sharing, the short-term rental of bicycles for one-way or round trips, has long been popular in Europe and is gaining traction in cities including Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver. Anaheim and Los Angeles are in the process of adopting bike-sharing programs.  

David Martin, Santa Monica's director of planning and community development, said residents and business leaders have urged the city to implement a bike sharing program to complement the Expo Light Rail line, slated to arrive in Santa Monica in 2015.

The program would allow riders to bicycle to and from the Santa Monica stations, Martin said, "and provide the essential first- and last-mile link."

Global Green is based in Santa Monica.


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