A library for bike riders brings 250 e-bikes to South Los Angeles

Andrew J. Campa, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Lifestyles

The library is part of a two-year pilot program funded by $2.7 million from the Air Resources Board. The money covered the purchase of the e-bikes and insurance along with maintenance and repairs, obligatory and complementary training for all participants, and additional support.

Kinman noted one advantage of e-bikes over non-motorized bicycles is the less-strenuous, lower-impact physical activity. They are equipped with a motor to enhance and ease pedaling.

Tricycles are also available for those uncomfortable with two wheels, Kinman said.

After the initial two years of funding end, grants will be provided by the state's Strategic Growth Council under its Transformative Climate Communities Program.

For Martinez, the e-bikes not only address mobility issues, but also enable people of color, particularly the Black community, to circumvent the historical ills of the bus and metro system.


Martinez, a longtime Bus Riders Union member, said his group found that 50% of all arrests and citations made in Los Angeles transit over the last decade or so were against Black people.

"This is an opportunity to break away from those systems of criminalization and dehumanization," said Martinez, a member of the Garifuna people and the queer community.

Martinez also appreciated the forward-thinking aspect of e-bikes. He believes that as more people grow comfortable using the vehicles and potentially getting away from cars, such a movement will force the city to implement more bike-accessibility projects.

"The infrastructure is not there yet in Los Angeles," he said. "But if we continue to grow, things will have to change."

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