Hundreds of bikes that are abandoned on Metro buses, trains or properties each month will be distributed for free to needy and homeless residents under a $120,000 Adopt-A-Bike program announced Friday.
According to the agency, 400 to 500 bikes are left on Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority property each month, and 75% of them are never claimed. After they're stored for 90 days as required by state law, they're sold at auction.
But under the new two-year pilot program, auctioning the bikes will be eliminated and Metro will work with community-based organizations to give them away to needy residents or the homeless in an effort to improve their mobility.
Metro will set aside up to $120,000 annually to administer the program and assist organizations with distributing the bikes, which will all undergo safety inspections and repair. The organizations will also provide safety training to recipients of the bikes.
“Every Angeleno should have access to clean, healthy transportation, regardless of their ZIP code, income level or housing situation,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “The Adopt-A-Bike program will help provide our most vulnerable residents with a new vehicle of opportunity, a sustainable way to get around our city and a path to a more equitable future.”
Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington said the program will also provide a “cost-free option for people to connect with the Metro transit system and access employment opportunities and to make other essential trips.”