Long Beach’s bike share program kicked off again Monday, July 27, after being suspended for four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.
About 80 of the city’s signature blue bikes were hauled from a warehouse back to their docks throughout Long Beach on Monday, including one at Fourth Street and Cherry Avenue.
All 500 bikes in the program will return to the streets within the next two weeks, according to Public Works spokesperson Jennifer Carey.
Electric scooters are also set to hit the city’s streets again starting Aug. 3.
At the end of March, Long Beach’s micro-mobility program — which manages both bikes and electric scooters — was temporarily shut down amid concerns about the coronavirus.
But Public Works Director Eric Lopez wrote in a memo last week to city officials that that his department has since worked “to develop sanitation measures to be performed by all operators” to ensure bikes and scooters can be safely used by the public again.
Lopez wrote that getting bikes and scooters back out on the streets is a priority because of “the importance of shared micro-mobility as an affordable and accessible form of transportation for our community.”
Razor, Bird, Lime and Clevr all have permits to operate electric scooters and bikes in Long Beach.
The new sanitation requirements for those companies are:
Field staff must wear personal protective equipment;
All scooters and bikes must be sanitized and disinfected daily;
Staff and riders must be educated on “proper COVID-19 safety and sanitation;"
Safety and sanitation protocols must be submitted to the Public Works Department prior to deploying; and
A log of all sanitation efforts must be submitted to Public Works.
The Public Works Department will also develop a tool that will be available on the Populus app to track each company’s sanitation performance.
The companies’ permits could be suspended or revoked, Lopez wrote, if they fail to comply with the new regulations.