The City of Santa Monica has launched a bikesharing program for city employees in conjunction with Bike to Work Day earlier this month.

The program, known as Bike@Work, provides city staff access to a fleet of branded city bicycles to ride to local meetings and between city facilities. Eight new and five retrofitted bicycles are available for employees to check out during the day for commutes between city facilities from the Santa Monica Airport to the Santa Monica Pier and other offices around town.

The collaborative effort of the Planning and Community Development Department and the Office of Sustainability and the Environment is intended to help fellow employees bicycle more and drive less, city officials note.

Having more staff ride locally supports the Land Use and Circulation Element’s transportation demand management goals, bicycle awareness and environmental stewardship as well as healthy habits among staff, officials say.

Each bike is fully equipped with safety gear, baskets, reflective city logo signs, bells, locks and lights, and includes an odometer so trips can be logged and carbon savings measured. Employees must take a self-test on rules of the road, view a video on safe-street cycling techniques, and agree to wear a helmet before they can check out a bike.

Program representatives say that Bike@Work will give employees a green, healthy and low-cost option for trips during the workday.

Information, www.metro.net/biketowork/.

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