One More Reason to Ride a Bike: Opening of New Bikestation
The new Bikestation Claremont was made possible by the Caltrans Bicycle Transportation Account and District 7â€™s Office of Local Assistance.
If there were a simple way to improve your health, save money, help the environment and have fun all at the same time, would you be interested? Would you want to know more? In one word, here’s the secret: biking. Southern Californians are doing it in ever increasing numbers, discovering the many benefits of two-wheeled transport. Caltrans is helping to drive the trend.
Evidence of the growing interest in biking and Caltrans’ supporting role was on display February 24 at the grand opening of Bikestation Claremont. Bikestation, which is conveniently located in the Claremont Metrolink station, is a little piece of bike heaven. The facility includes 24-hour secure indoor bicycle parking, lockers, a restroom, transit information, basic gear, tools, a workbench and access to bike repairs and rentals nearby. Plus, it offers all the air your tires can handle for free!
“A facility like Bikestation makes it easier for people to get out of their cars and onto a bike,” said Dale Benson, District 7’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator in the Office of Local Assistance. “It helps change behavior by making biking a more attractive option.”
To use Bikestation, cyclists buy a membership online. You can pay $12 per month or $96 for a full year. Or, for occasional use, members can pay $1 day, purchasing at least 10 days (or $10 worth) in advance. Within five days of joining, you’ll receive a membership tag that allows you to access Bikestation services.
The new Bikestation was made possible in large part by Caltrans’ Bicycle Transportation Account (BTA), which previously helped fund District 7’s first Bikestation project in Long Beach in 1995. BTA provides $8 million annually in state funds for city and county projects that improve safety and convenience for bicycle commuters. BTA funded 90 percent of the $550,000 Claremont project. The City of Claremont picked up the remaining 10 percent.
The Bikestation project was an excellent fit for a BTA grant. For one, the City of Claremont already had a Bicycle Master Plan, which is one of the BTA eligibility requirements. Additionally, both city leaders and residents were highly supportive of the project. The location, too, is excellent.
“It’s in the Metrolink station. It’s in the downtown business district. It’s close to colleges and residential areas. It’s a really good setup in many ways,” said Benson.
The crowd at the grand opening seemed to agree. About 75 people turned out for the event, which began with a ribbon cutting featuring Claremont Mayor Corey Calaycay. Attendees toured the new Bikestation, participated in giveaways, visited sponsor booths (including District 7’s) and signed up for Bikestation memberships.
Then, about 15 people hopped on their bikes for a group ride to the Grand Opening of Bikestation Covina, 12 miles to the east. Bikestation Covina, which was not funded by BTA, is smaller than Bikestation Claremont, but equally important in building the San Gabriel Valley’s bike transit network.
“We’re going to have to move toward cleaner transportation options in the future,” said Benson. “Improving the bicycle infrastructure helps us do that. It makes our communities more livable and sustainable. And it’s just fun.”
Information about the Caltrans Bicycle Transportation Account:
Information about Bikestation: