LOS ANGELES – Power on, adjust seat, and check tires: the first three steps Areli Morales takes before getting on a Metro docked e-bike. Once you pick the right one, you pay at the station.
Eighty four million shared micromobility trips were taken in 2018, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
“You press start then check out a bike,” said Morales.
Millions of these trips were taken on e-scooters, but Morales often uses bike shares instead. She said they are cheaper and more accesible to her. She doesn’t own a car, so she prefers riding a bike to and from train stations or bus stops as her main form of transportation.
“Having a car would be very expensive and time consuming,” said Morales.
She lives in an area that doesn’t have great parking and travels to downtown a lot. So, she would rather spend the commute relaxing on the train.
“During that hour, I catch up on emails podcasts, whatever. It’s personal time,” said Morales.
Morales does own a bike, but when she will be out for a long time, she ops for the bike shares, because she says there is a theft problem in L.A.
“It’s easier and I have a peace of mind knowing my things won’t get stolen,” said Morales.
Morales is not alone in using docked bikes, in 2018 36.5 million trips were taken on station-based bike share systems, a 9 pecent increase from 2017, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. She used to use dockless bikes, which are more convenient, but she hasn’t seen them as much. According to NACTO, companies are focusing more on e-scooters than dockless bike shares.
“It’s a major drag to have to leave a bus or a train and still have to walk 20 minutes. On a bike or a scooter, that cuts it down to like 5 minutes or less it gives you a lot of freedom,” said Morales.
And as a woman, this freedom is important, especially when she says she often doesn’t feel safe walking alone to her final destination.
“It’s quicker and safer than walking,” said Morales.
After her quick trip, Morales returns her bike to the nearest dock, thankful for a way to get around L.A. without using a car.
If you would like to try a Metro Bike Share, click here to find a dock near you.