Homeless Steal Metro Bikes Funded by Taxpayer Dollars in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Metro Bike Share
Los Angeles Metro Bike Share

A new CBS News investigation by David Goldstein, has found that Metro bicycles in Los Angeles are being stolen at an alarming rate.

The program initially started in 2017 as a way to decrease traffic and allow more eco-friendly and cheaper methods for Angelenos to get around. Initially, the program gained traction with many using the bikes often as an alternative to driving in certain areas of Los Angeles.

It has now been discovered that roughly a third of bicycles used through Metro’s taxpayer-funded Bike Share program are being stolen at high rates or stripped outright for spare parts and then discarded.

The report found $2,000 bicycles that had been painted, repurposed by the homeless, or otherwise discarded outright. Many of the bikes have been found at homeless encampments around the county being used in various ways aside from transportation.

At present, the Metro bike share program has cost Los Angeles taxpayers $36,000,000, as each bicycle costs range from $1,850 to $2,500.

At present 973 bikes have been stolen or are missing from the bicycle share program, accounting for 32% of the overall bicycles available costing close to $2 million.

MTA officials have admitted that there is a way to scam their system by using prepaid credit cards, which they are currently trying to address as to decrease the further loss of bikes.

So far 329 bikes have been recovered prompting MTA officials to still tout that the program is a success even with the thefts. At present, there is no word on how the bikes will be replaced or fixed without charging taxpayers more money.

David Goldstein’s full investigation can be seen below:

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