SANTA MONICA — Getting around Santa Monica can be frustrating but finding parking is even worse, and often times you just wish you could leave your car behind. Luckily, residents of Santa Monica are finding more and more ways to avoid driving are appearing in the area.
Probably the most recognizable form of transportation in the area is Bird — a matte black scooter that you pay via an app to use and get where you need to go. You can find them on the beach, outside restaurants and even miles away in the heart of LA. These electric scooters have become the new way of life for many people in Santa Monica, finishing the last mile of their commute through this new form of transportation in the city. However, the city seems to be fighting the scooters, considering them a public nuisance to pedestrians as the scooters are carelessly parked in the middle of walkways or riders zooming past on the sidewalk. Still, they remain a convenient little way to cut down on using your car and struggling to find parking in the busy areas.
A convenient electric shuttle that picks people up and shuttles them to the nearest hotspot to your chosen destination. While you can’t be shuttled directly to anywhere you want, The Free Ride may be able to cut some distance off your walk or Uber to help save some money. The company operates purely on advertisements to make its money, decking out its shuttles in wrapped ads for major companies like T-Mobile and Corona Extra as well as putting placed ads inside the vehicle for users to interact with. The best part is that it is completely free and instead of having to move your car sometimes you can simply shuttle to the next closest hotspot.
Like the Bird, Breeze Now uses bikes to provide a pay per minute transportation. However, unlike Bird, Breeze Now requires users to dock the bike upon the conclusion of their trip. The “Hulu Bikes” as people call them can be found stationed around Santa Monica for people to use — simply download the app, type in your account number and go. What separates Breeze Now’s bikes from the rest of the newest public transportation is the option to have a monthly or yearly subscription. Users who want to use the bikes daily or regularly can opt to pay $25 a month or $99 a year for a 90-minute daily ride. Riders who opt for a monthly or yearly subscription receive a card they simply swipe on the station and whisk away their new ride. Also, users can earn credits by returning undocked bikes to the nearby station.
Transportation in the LA County is getting revamped daily, and entrepreneurs continue to seek more and more ways to cut down on the LA traffic as well as finding more environmentally friendly transportation. Who knows, maybe in a couple of decades no one will have a car in Santa Monica anymore.