Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica’s “Breeze” Bike Share Program Gets Big Name Sponsor|
By Niki Cervantes
October 15, 2015 -- Santa Monica’s “Breeze” bike-share program -- the first of its kind in Los Angeles County – has snared a big-time sponsor as well as a lucrative contract, City officials announced Wednesday.
Hulu, the popular streaming television service based in Santa Monica, has agreed to sponsor the bike-share program, which started its initial phase in August with a small fleet of its bright green “smart bikes.” The $10 million system is expected to reach full strength after a November 12 rollout.
“We could not have found a better fit – a local, innovative and green company to partner with,” said Elizabeth Bar-El, Senior Planner and Breeze Bike Share launch manager.
The Santa Monica City Council approved the five-year, $675,000 contract with Hulu LLC at its meeting Tuesday, and it was a better deal that the City had originally thought it could get, officials said.
According to the staff report to the Council, the City was figuring on a three-year $250,000 agreement when it first started scouting for sponsors last November.
Mayor Kevin McKeown said it was exciting that Hulu had signed on and noted the pact marked a first for the City.
“We are particularly pleased that a local company with the stature of Hulu has stepped up to support this important public amenity,” McKeown said.
“Bike share has revolutionized mobility in every city in this country in which it has been implemented, and we are sure this will happen in Los Angeles, beginning with Santa Monica.”
Hulu was also upbeat.
“As a local company, we are dedicated to giving back to the community in ways that will help benefit the city for the long run,” said Jenny Wall, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Hulu. “We’re excited to help locals, visitors and our team members commute throughout the city that Hulu calls home.”
The preliminary stage of the Breeze program started in mid-August with 31 rental bikes available at seven bike hubs located on major bike routes citywide. When the full wave hits in November, 75 kiosks around the city, and a few in Venice, will be available to “Breeze” bike riders.
Riders can drop their bikes off at kiosks anywhere in the City or at any other public bike rack for a fee. The “Breeze” base rate fee is $1 per every 10 minutes, or $6 per hour.
Hulu’s logo, which uses the same green color seen on Breeze bikes, will be displayed on the bicycle baskets and skirt guards.
Hulu moved its headquarters to Santa Monica in 2013 and has about 500 employees in the city, officials said.
Santa Monica City officials have placed a high priority on reducing automotive congestion on its busy streets, and are focusing on getting residents and visitors to walk or ride bikes instead.
Last November, the Council approved a $10.4 million contract with Miami Beach-based CycleHop to run the program. (“Santa Monica City Council Launches First Bike Share Program in LA County,” November 13, 2014)
Los Angeles and Long Beach are among the other cities in metropolitan Los Angeles planning rental bike-share programs.
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