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Long Beach bicycle station helps public transit

September 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Long Beach is striving to become the most bicycle-friendly city in the country.

A new state-of-the-art bicycling station opened up on Thursday at Promenade Square Park on 1st Street.

The train will get you to work, but what about getting from home to the train? The city of Long Beach has been trying to get commuters to use bikes, and special lanes are helping.

"I think it's a great idea," said Long Beach resident Jack Paez. "It's good for the community. I take advantage of it as much as I can."

This facility is also expected to get more commuters out of their cars- it's called Bikestation. The company provides storage and other services for those who ride bikes to trains and buses.

"I can store my bike, the mechanics guard it," said Long Beach resident Nancy Huntington. "They have showers. I change from banker chic, so to speak, to biker."

In addition to storage, Bikestation also repairs bikes. And if you're just in Long Beach for the day, you can also rent a bicycle.

"In order to make transit really efficient, you have to be able to get people from greater area around the transit station," said Andrea White-Kjoss from Bikestation. "Having facilities like these helps to connect cyclists and transit users to the end of their trip."

Membership costs about $100 a year. It's not too bad when you consider it has allowed some people to cancel their gym membership.

"It's 11 miles roundtrip," said Huntington. "That's time I don't have to spend every day in the gym. I get to look at the beautiful ocean, and the wildlife, the birds, and it's just wonderful."

For Huntington and others the way to and from work now begins and ends with a bike ride. And as far as she's concerned it's the only way to go.


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