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News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

The Ride: Dockless bike sharing in LA, Tesla misses production goals with Model 3

by Susan Carpenter | Take Two®

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With dockless bike sharing, users find bicycles with a smart phone app and can rent bikes without checking them out through a kiosk. Limebike.com

Bike sharing came to L.A. last year, letting people rent bicycles from one fixed location and return them at another. Now LA City Councilman David Ryu is proposing a new dockless type of bike sharing that lets riders pick up bikes and drop them off almost anywhere.

On Tuesday, Ryu proposed a motion to the city council that would allow LA's Department of Transportation to establish a pilot program for bike sharing that gets rid of the racks for pickup and return. Instead, riders use a smart phone to find a bicycle that's available through the program and unlock it. After riding it around, they leave it wherever they're done, as long as it's within the defined service area. To prevent theft, the bikes automatically lock when the rental is finished.

Dockless advocates say this type of bike sharing will get more bikes into more people's hands because there's more flexibility if riders don't have to go to a set location to get a bike or return it. The easier it is for people to use bicycles to get around, the more likely they are to use bicycles instead of a car. 

Ryu's motion needs approval from the city council before a pilot program could take effect, but dockless bike sharing could make its LA debut next year.

Next year is also when most reservation holders for the Tesla Model 3 are likely to get their cars. On Monday, the electric car company acknowledged it had fallen fall short of its production goals, making just 260 Model 3s between July and the end of September. When the Model 3 went into production in July, Tesla CEO Elon Musk had said 1,500 would be built by now.


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