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Belmont Shore Begins Employee Rider Pilot Program May 25

By Tiffany Rider - Senior Writer

May 8th - A pilot program involving the Belmont Shore Business Association (BSBA) and Long Beach Transit will allow employees who work on 2nd Street to ride the bus to work for free this summer.

The Belmont Shore Employee Rider Bus Pass Program pilot is set to begin on May 25 and continue through September 3. The program is modeled after the U-PASS Program, which allows students of California State University, Long Beach, to ride the bus for free by swiping their student I.D. card. That program began in 2008 and is still available to students through the end of the spring semester.

The pilot program is an effort to reduce the number of vehicles parking in Belmont Shore. The Belmont Shore Parking and Business Improvement Area Advisory Commission approved the pilot program a year ago, but limitations on the commission’s spending authority dictated by the city charter prevented the program from launching until now, according to commissioner William “Bill” Lorbeer. The contract was approved on February 21.

“While the commission’s ultimate goal is to improve the business area by increasing the available public parking resources, development of additional public parking lots and/or parking structures is a very expensive and lengthy process,” Lorbeer, who owns Lorbeer Equity Management, Inc., said via e-mail.

“Given this focus, I tend to think of the program’s effectiveness in terms of parking spaces or parking lots. The commission hopes the program will operate sort of like a virtual employee parking lot, and free up additional parking spaces for business customers and residents. If successful, we expect that the additional business customers will generate additional parking and tax revenue to help pay for the program.” If successful, the pilot will run through the 100 days of summer.

Eligible employees who are interested in taking the bus to work for free should contact Alexandra Noriega via e-mail at Alexandra@belmontshore.org for a bus pass request form. Forms must be submitted to the BSBA by May 13.