The City of Long Beach and Bike Nation unite to make Transportation, Travel More Environmentally Friendly
When many people think of Southern California they think of beautiful people, beautiful weather and ugly pollution-making traffic jams. National bike share provider Bike Nation and the City of Long Beach are looking to change that perception by providing visitors and residents alike with a healthy, cost-efficient transportation alternative and revolutionary ecologically sound improvements to its more traveler-friendly Airport.
Representatives from the City of Long Beach and Bike Nation held a media reception in New York yesterday to lay out the plans for the West Coast’s first major bike share program, a $14 million privately-funded commitment by Southern California-based Bike Nation, and detail the city’s expected completion of its $145 million Airport upgrades.
Plans call for the installation of the first of 250 stations and 2,500 technologically advanced 'Made in the USA' bikes in downtown Long Beach by February of 2013. With 40% of car trips within two miles from home and 90% of emissions in a seven-mile trip generated in the first mile while the engine warms up, Bike Nation is providing an more ecological-friendly alternative mode of transportation to many of Long Beach's well-known attractions including its beaches, the Aquarium of the Pacific and the historic Queen Mary. Usage fees range from a single 24-hour membership ($6), to 3-day ($12), weekly ($25), monthly ($35), yearly ($75) and yearly student/senior rentals ($50).
Long Beach's Airport Modernization Project, which began in 2010 and is set to conclude in December, will also have a direct impact on the city’s carbon footprint and save travelers time and money. The project includes a modernization of its historic terminal, a new parking structure and new passenger concourse. Newly updated gates, with an atrium, garden and solar panels, will supply 13% of the concourse's energy needs. The airport will reduce air carrier ramp emissions by converting diesel carts, belt loaders and tugs to electric power and providing planes with gate power and air conditioning, resulting in 3,000 pounds less of diesel particulate matter emissions per year and three million pounds of total air emissions per year. Ground-loading passengers, meaning all passengers enter and exit planes using mobile staircases and ramps rather than loading bridges, will save 127,200 kWh of energy use per year.
Long Beach continues to be a city transforming itself in progressive ways, with its new upgrades to its airport and its new bike share program as the latest examples of innovative ways to be more environmentally friendly.