After being suspended in late March due to COVID-19 concerns, the Long Beach BikeShare and E-scooter Micro-Mobility Programs are back, providing convenient, emission-free transportation and exercise alternatives for Long Beach residents and visitors in Downtown and beyond.
With new sanitation protocols in place, riders can once again select from the fleet of BikeShare bikes. Visitors to Long Beach pay $7 per hour and can receive an extra free hour if they pre-pay $21 for a three-hour rental. Long Beach locals are eligible to enroll in a $15-per-month or a $120-per-year plan which cover up to 90 minutes of daily ride time.
E-scooters are also back: Three scooter operators – Lime, Bird, and Razor – have been given clearance to deploy their fleets at City-approved drop zones throughout the city. Each operator sets its own price based on a flat fee with a per-minute rate added. Scooter locations can be found on each operator’s app.
The Long Beach Public Works Department, working closely with the City Attorney’s office and the Health and Human Services Department, developed post-COVID safety and sanitation standards for the micro-mobility programs that are compliant with guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
“We at Public Works know how important micro-mobility is to our community and we know how many people depend on it to get to work or essential services,” said Jennifer Carey, Community Relations Officer for the Public Works Department. “We wanted to get these programs back up and running as soon as possible with proper measures in place to protect the public. By developing these sanitation guidelines, we were able to re-establish these programs in a safe and responsible manner.”
BikeShare operator Pedal Movement and the three scooter operators were required to verify with the City that they had provided their staffs with personal protective equipment and had trained them in proper cleaning and sanitation protocols. In addition, the City issued a press release about the new micro-mobility guidelines and added that information to its website.
The new guidelines include the following:
- All Bikeshare and E-scooter operators must ensure that personal protective equipment is worn by all field staff.
- Micro-mobility fleet devices and staff vehicles are to be sanitized and disinfected daily, with an emphasis on frequently touched surfaces.
- All operators must educate staff and riders on proper COVID-19 safety and sanitation.
- All operators were required to submit safety and sanitation protocols to Public Works for approval prior to deployment of the fleets.
The new BikeShare and E-scooter guidelines, along with rules put in place by the City’s Open Streets Initiative, are helping to ensure a safe return to public activity in the City. “The guidelines implemented for both of these programs allow us to support residents and businesses while also ensuring that the safety of our community stays at the forefront of all we do,” said Carey.
The BikeShare program has been growing in popularity since its inception in March of 2016, tallying 37,911 memberships during the summer of 2019, an increase of 10,000 over the previous summer. The City’s E-scooter program was made permanent by a City Council vote in May of 2019 after operating as a pilot program for a year.
Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, the City had expanded the BikeShare program into North Long Beach and had revamped the bike fleet with new seats, handlebars, and baskets. Now that these micro-mobility programs are rolling once more, riders can look forward to expansion of the bike and E-scooter fleets and hubs soon.
“The Long Beach micro-mobility programs fit in with the City’s continuous goals of improving livability within the City,” said Carey. “We are fortunate in Long Beach to have great weather and surroundings throughout the year, making it an ideal location for incorporating more affordable and equitable forms of transportation.”
As a reminder, follow these health and safety practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19: when using E-scooters or bikeshare bikes, sanitize your hands before and after use, wear a mask, and avoid touching your face.