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A New Way to "Re"cycle


By Wendy Soderburg '82

Published Oct 1, 2017 9:00 AM

Getting across the UCLA campus just got a whole lot smoother, thanks to a new bike-share program.

Photo courtesy of UCLA Transportation.

With the start of Fall Quarter, Bruins have noticed something new on campus: bright, UCLA-blue bicycles.

These bikes — 130 of them — are available on campus as part of Bruin Bike Share, a fun, healthy and sustainable transportation option. Bruin Bike Share provides short-term bike rentals to UCLA students, staff, faculty and visitors.

With 17 bike hubs throughout campus and in Westwood Village, finding a bike is no problem. Riders may pick up a bike from one hub and return it to any of the other hubs in the Bruin Bike Share service area, or — for a small fee — they may lock them to public bike racks outside of the service area.

The brand-new, 8-speed, adjustable bikes come equipped with a sturdy built-in lock, front and rear LED lights, bell and front basket. Best of all, riders don’t have to wait until “normal” business hours to use them — the bikes are available 24/7, year-round. UCLA is working with CycleHop to manage its bike share system.

CycleHop’s technology partner, Social Bicycles Inc. (SoBi), created UCLA’s “smart bikes” with wireless technology that uses real-time information to report bike and hub availability, among other things.

To rent a bike, riders create a SoBi account through their smart phones or the website (, or at payment kiosks at the larger bike hubs. They may purchase a monthly or annual membership (with special discounts for UCLA staff, faculty and students), or a “pay as you go” plan. Membership plans come with 90 minutes of ride time per day.

The Westwood Village Improvement Association, which funded two bike hubs (on Broxton and Glendon avenues), has been an enthusiastic partner in bringing Bruin Bike Share to UCLA, says Dave Karwaski, UCLA Transportation’s senior associate director of planning and traffic. “There’s a certain warm fuzziness to having bike share in the neighborhood, because it just feels friendlier,” he says. “It feels more people-oriented, more alive.”

In the works is a regionalization plan that would create one seamless system between UCLA, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. “We’re hoping to have that up and running by January,” Karwaski says.