In response to the evolving transportation needs of suburban communities, the City of Monrovia, in partnership with Lyft and LimeBike, will be launching the GoMonrovia program on Saturday, March 17, at 9 a.m. at Monrovia's Library Park (321 S. Myrtle Ave.). Through the GoMonrovia program, the public will be able to access a Lyft ride anywhere in the GoMonrovia service area for just $0.50. In addition, LimeBike will be deploying more than 200 bikes throughout Monrovia, each of which can be accessed by the public for $1.00 for a 30-minute ride.
This unique and innovative public-private partnership was designed to provide the community with enhanced and affordable public transportation options that leverage the strengths of Lyft and LimeBike. "As the Southern California population continues to grow, suburban communities are becoming denser and more congested," said City Manager Oliver Chi. "Through the GoMonrovia program, we have worked to develop a new transportation program that will provide greatly improved mobility options for the suburban user."
Unlike urban environments, residents living in suburban communities rely primarily on private automobile use for their transportation needs, even though most trips are under five miles. While this paradigm exists for a multitude of reasons, one contributing factor is that suburban transportation programs have been, by and large, slow and inconvenient. "The City of Monrovia, like most suburban communities, has historically relied on a dial-a-ride shuttle bus program as our primary method of providing public transportation," said Mr. Chi. "Unfortunately, the program serves only a very narrow range of public transportation users, is inconvenient for general everyday use, and is an incredibly costly way to move people around. In fact, each ride on our dial-a-ride system costs the City around $19.70 per person. We kept thinking, there has to be a better way," Mr. Chi continued.
More recently, in response to local housing growth, an expanding job base, and regional population trends, the City of Monrovia started to rethink its role as it relates to the provision of public transportation. "The challenge we were trying to solve in developing the GoMonrovia initiative was to see if we could create an affordable transportation program that was so easy to use that the broader community might seriously consider public transit in Monrovia as a real option," said Mr. Chi.
Given the extensive public use of ride sharing services, the City worked to identify possible private sector transportation program partners. "As we assessed the situation, we realized early on that widely adopted technology platforms could facilitate a new public transportation model for our suburban community," said Mr. Chi. "Private sector firms such as Lyft and LimeBike have created technologies that enable them to provide a personalized and on-demand transportation service. We knew that from a user perspective, existing public transit options just can't compete with the speed and convenience offered by these new tech platforms. And so instead of fighting, we looked to see how we could leverage what these companies do best in order for us to better serve the community."
"In addition, Lyft and LimeBike immediately stood out as our preferred transportation partners," said Mr. Chi. "The team at Lyft operates with the civic-minded ethos that their ride-sharing platform should exist to complement existing public transportation services, not replace them. And the LimeBike team has not only been aly valued partner, they were also the only legitimate private dockless bikesharing company we could identify that maintains all of its data securely in the US."
"We are excited to be part of GoMonrovia's community mobility program," said Paul Davis, Lyft's Transit Partnership Manager. "The City of Monrovia is launching a bold program that is a creative and thoughtful approach to rethinking suburban mobility. Lyft is excited to be part of this initiative, which could serve as a blueprint for how to decouple suburban mobility from auto ownership."
"LimeBike applauds the City of Monrovia for taking a forward-thinking and thoughtful approach in solving the first and last mile transportation challenge," said Jack Song, spokesperson for LimeBike. "As the largest dockfree smart mobility solution provider in the US, LimeBike is excited about giving the Monrovia community access to a new transportation option that is affordable, accessible, and green for the environment."
As part of the March 17, GoMonrovia launch event, representatives from Lyft and LimeBike will be on hand as the new mobility program is kicked-off with a community bike ride. Once the program goes live, in addition to being able to access Lyft rides anywhere in the GoMonrovia service area for just $0.50 / ride, LimeBike will be deploying bikes throughout the community, including at new bike rack stations located at the Community Center, Library Park, Old Town Monrovia, and Station Square.
For more information on the GoMonrovia program, including instruction on how to use the Lyft and LimeBike apps, and additional information on the launch event, please visit www.gomonrovia.com.
Source: City of Monrovia press release
- Brad Haugaard