The Ultimate Primer on the LA All-Electric Car-Share Program

The Ultimate Primer on the LA All-Electric Car-Share Program

Everyone who has ever wondered about visiting or living in LA has been told that this city requires you to have a car. Its public transport program is a joke. But now people are finally getting a new transport option that runs on 4 wheels. BlueLA, a car-sharing service involving electric cars, has now been operating across a large section of Central LA. It’s mostly focused in places where the residents are lower-income so that they can do errands, work 2nd shifts, and go to get services.

Here’s a handy FAQ guide to help you get a better idea of how it works:

How do you use this service?

If you’ve ever used a bike share system, then this should be a familiar process. To rent an electric car, you can just use the mobile app to reserve a BlueLA car in advance. You can also just go to the charging station kiosk and use your BlueLA or linked Metro TAP card. There’s a display that shows your account info and you have options to use the car right away or later.

To return the car, just plug it back into the charging station and tap your card again. You can find the charging station locations at the BlueLA site.

How many charging stations are there?

There are (as of this writing) 7 charging stations. But by the end of 2018 there will be as many as 40 charging stations across the city. These will have 200 charging docks and 100 EVs.

How many cars are available now?

There are about 25 vehicles available?

When can you rent a BlueLA car?

You can rent one 24/7.

Where are the kiosks located?

They’re in neighborhoods such as Pico-Union, Rampart Village, and East Hollywood. There’s also one in downtown LA in the Fashion District.

How much will this cost you?

This needs a monthly subscription, which is normal for car-sharing services. Again, you can just visit the BlueLA site to sign up. The subscription costs $5 a month, with a metered service at 20¢ a minute. If during the sign-up you can prove that you’re a low-income resident, you only pay $1 a month and the meter sets at 15¢ a minute. There’s also walk-up service at 40¢.

What’s the range?

If you have a full charge, you can go for at least 100 miles though it depends on the driving conditions. On a good day, you can go 125 miles.

How’s the driving experience?

These small EVs are very peppy, with quick acceleration and easy handling. You have heating and air conditioning, nav and a stereo. There’s also an assistance call-button that can answer your questions.

There are plenty of good reasons why the BlueLA service was launched. The most obvious reason is to alleviate the failings of LA’s transportation network. There are too many issues regarding safety, and air quality, and congestion, and BlueLA is a step in the right direction. It also gives a change for even low-income residents to use low-carbon technology, as usually, these types of cars are much more expensive. It’s great for the users, and its low-carbon feature is great for the city as a whole.

Check out a new rideshare program just for kids.

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Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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How California’s MedMen Is a Leader In The Legal Marijuana Gold Rush

Will MedMen Become The Starbucks of Weed

A quick look at the growing legal cannabis trade through the rapid expansion of MedMen.

It has been said before that legalizing a lot of banned things can lead to progress. Marijuana certainly proved this theory to be true. Legalizing cannabis didn’t just make an alternative treatment to certain diseases more accessible, but it also created a booming industry.

Studies show that spending on legal cannabis can grows up to $57 billion by 2027. However, the numbers that MedMen, the leading cannabis company in the US, has been sharing are also excellent proof that the industry is highly promising.

While there have been a few snags along the way, it will be hard to deny that the legal cannabis trade is booming. Just recently, MedMen made the largest cannabis acquisition in history. Granted, there aren’t a lot of previous transactions of the sort, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that the numbers involved are astonishing.

The company has also been recently listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange. This helped them raise about $110 million. It’s lower than their goal but it’s still a promising figure that signals potential growth.

A lot of market experts also note that MedMen stocks should be watched. They said that its major acquisition is a solid move for the business to establish itself. It’s also said that this is practically the birth of the industry and it will be hard to deny this.

With all of the milestones that MedMen has been reaching, more and more people are already feeling the change and developments such achievements can bring. One of this is how such a large acquisition can affect the distribution of medical marijuana. It can make these once-banned products easier to acquire which can definitely change how people consume the substance.

Who is MedMen?

Before we go into the implications of MedMen’s explosive growth, you might be wondering just how this business became the biggest name in the legal weed trade. Who is MedMen exactly and how did they get so big?

The company started out about nine years ago when the ‘California Ganja Gold Rush’ started. Its founders, Adam Bierman, and Andrew Modlin saw the potential in the trade so they decided to dive in. Over the years, it has seriously grown so much that they were able to open a 45,000-square foot greenhouse and manufacturing facility, hire over 800 employees, and operate 14 retail stores in various states.

They have also just recently started building another manufacturing facility of the same size as their first one. They’re expecting it to start operating in 2019 to better supply the 66 additional retail stores that they are now licensed to operate. They still have 13 more cultivation licenses, though, so the future of the company is very bright.

MedMen is also noted for being the first business to acquire state license for a cannabis business in the city of L.A. They were definitely lucky enough to already be in operation when the recreational use of weed became legal.

Note, however, that MedMen is not just a business for recreational or medical pot. According to the founders, they’re in the wellness trade. In fact, when you visit their stores, they don’t classify their products according to the two aforementioned categories. They categorize their products according to seven states of being that their consumers might want to get to (activity, happiness, fluidity, enlightenment, balance, rest, and wellness) instead.

Another notable thing about MedMen is its overall retail concept. First off, its stores are found in iconic locations like Beverly Hills, the Las Vegas Strip, Venice Beach, and Fifth Avenue, New York. This says a lot about what brand they’re going for.

The stores in itself are worth checking out. They can offer a unique experience with their noteworthy product display and store design.

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Not your average retail store. 🌿 #DTLA

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‘Mainstreaming Marijuana’

Speaking of its retail stores, MedMen’s locations are the best clues as to where the company intends to lead the industry. According to them, they wish to take marijuana to the mainstream and they intend to do that by changing how people perceive the substance.

What the brand wants to do is to introduce the substance to more recreational users. They wish to offer it as an alternative to a glass of wine or a few tablets of Xanax as a way for people to relax and unwind after a long week.

They’re not just about catering to their established ‘stoner’ clientele but want to expand their market beyond their target audience. This is why they promote a more modern approach to weed consumption. They want to make people understand that the substance offers more than what the stoner films of old can bring.

To achieve this, they make it a point to feature edibles and vaping pens, among many others. They offer about 1000 products in store and a lot of them are patented and will provide consumers with new ways to enjoy cannabis.

With this, alongside their retail stores’ eventual growth in numbers, MedMen hopes to entice the mainstream to give cannabis a try. By making the process of acquiring the substance feel normal, casual, and nonchalant, just like how people routinely grab their coffee, they might just be able to expand their business’ reach.

In a way, you can also look at MedMen as a brand that “gentrifies” your cannabis consumption. If back in the day, people had to meet up with sleazy folks or visit dingy and rundown establishments to get their fix, there’s no more need to do that anymore with MedMen around.

This is why it’s so easy to compare it with the rise of coffee consumption in the past decade. If most folks mostly only consumed stale coffee grounds or old diner coffee, Starbucks changed that and made the whole activity a trendy thing to do. As laws on cannabis consumption loosen up a bit around the US, MedMen hopes to do the same thing for weed.

When you look at the bigger picture, recreating what Starbucks did is a very good goal. Ambitious, but at the rate that MedMen is going, it might not be impossible to do. If only more states follow suit in loosening their laws on cannabis use, this industry might just lend a hand to local economies.

Author Details
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

9 Great Places to Visit Near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

9 Great Places to Visit Near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

You may not know this, but there are actually several excellent places to visit right near LAX. So these may be the places you may want to visit right away when you arrive. Or perhaps, you can visit these locations for one last enjoyable LA adventure before you leave.

1. In-N-Out Burger

You’ve probably heard about the legendary In-N-Out Burger and how it’s the best fast-food burger in the world. If you’ve come from one of those locations where there’s no In-N-Out Burger, then you should just head on out to the In-N-Out Burger near the airport even before you get to your hotel. Why wait?

Location: 9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

2. Automobile Driving Museum

Are you a fan of vintage cars? If your rental has you wondering about what kind of car you should be riding, then you can detour to the Automobile Driving Museum for a quick look-see of about 130 classic and vintage cars. On Sundays from 10AM to 3:30PM, 3 different vintage cars are even available for rides.

Location: 610 Lairport St, El Segundo, CA 90245

3. Manhattan Beach Pier

Did you just get to LA to enjoy the beach? Once you arrive at LAX, just get a cab and head on out to the Manhattan Beach Pier. It’s only a 10-minute ride. To see as much as you can, you can rent a bike for $10 an hour.

Location: Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

4. Dockweiler State Beach

Obviously, you have more than one option in LA if you’re into beaches. Dockweiler is only 7 minutes from the airport, and it’s a free beach with 3 miles of shore, a picnic area, and a concession stand.

Location: 12001 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

5. Santa Monica Place

Maybe you’re in LA because you’re in need of some retail therapy. You can take care of that itch to shop with a visit to Santa Monica Place, which has just been recently renovated. It’s only a 20-minute trip from the airport, and you get to enjoy luxury shops and fine dining right after your LA arrival.

Location: 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

6. Abbot Kinney

Here’s another place to shop near the airport. It’s quite a unique area, with many local designers and artists combining current fashion with classic vintage style. Go here for distinctive clothes, jewelry, and furniture.

7. Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

After a while, the urban LA setting may have you wishing for the joys of nature. You and your family can enjoy that immediately by visiting the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, which is less than 10 miles from LAX. With 5 miles of hiking trails and lots of scenic views, it’s a great place for an outdoor picnic.

Location: 4100 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90056

8. Venice Beach

Sometimes it’s simply fun to just watch the people, who may be a lot different if you come from out of state. Try the Venice Boardwalk, and you’ll encounter people unique even to fellow Californians. Creatives like to flock here, and you can have your portrait taken by artists while palm readers take a look at your future.

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Venice Beach ~ CALIFORNIA ☀️

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9. Westchester Golf Course

Perhaps you want one final round of golf before you head out. Try it here at Westchester, which is open until 10PM.

Location: 6900 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Author Details
Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

john@lastartups.com
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Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

john@lastartups.com

15 Scooter Riding Tips for Navigating Los Angeles Traffic

15 Scooter Riding Tips for Heavy Traffic

It would seem at first that when you’re embroiled in heavy traffic, it’s great that you’re riding a scooter, like a Bird or Lime. But this can present its own set of dangers that you may not expect. To help make sure you ride safely on your scooter, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Make Sure You and Your Scooter Are Ready

That means you’re not drunk and you’re physically able to use your scooter. You should have all your protective gear on, such as a helmet. At the same time, you also have to make sure that the scooter is in perfect working condition with enough battery to get you to where you’re going.

2. Ride Smoothly

This means you don’t do the abrupt “go fast and stop” way of riding down the streets when on your scooter. Accelerate smoothly, and brake gently. This is the essence of safe scooter riding, and it protects not just you but the condition of the scooter too.

3. Be Aware of Others

You have to account for the various vehicles on the road as well as well as the others on scooters too. Don’t forget to be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially children who may suddenly sprint from the sidewalk. Look both ways and make sure your vision is clear.

Learn how to anticipate other people so that you’re able to make quick lane changes.

4. Be Careful When You Overtake

What you really want to watch out for is overtaking near an intersection, when you’re in between the other driver and their crossing. It’s best when you’re on the other side when you overtake so that if they make a sudden turn for the entrance you’re not in the way.

5. Turn Your Head to Indicate Where You’re Going

Since you have no signals to turn on. It helps other drivers when you simply turn your head to the direction you plan to go to. People behind you will know where you’re going and they can anticipate your action.

6. Practice Your Braking Skills Beforehand

You really don’t want to practice your scooter braking skills when you’re already caught in traffic. In these conditions, you should already know how to properly brake properly so you don’t end up hitting the vehicle in front of you.

Always keep a finger close to the front brake lever, while you also have a foot over the rear brake lever. These actions keep you ready to stop at a moment’s notice.

7. Slow Down in Tight Conditions

While speeding does have its own thrill, what you need to remember is that slower speeds give you more time to react to unexpected situations. That’s especially true in and weather in and heavy traffic conditions. Something may just hurl down to get in front of you, and a slower speed gives you more time to press on the brakes.

8. Be Ready with Power

Just keep your scooter in the lower gears during heavy traffic, as those will give you the best chances of squeezing through the various vehicles.

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More than just e-bikes. #JUMPScooters have arrived.

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9. Always Check in All Directions

When you’re crossing the road, you need to look left and right. That’s a good rule when you’re riding too. You have to check if there will be a possible hazard coming at you from any direction. It’s great if you can get into the habit of first checking left and then going into a clockwise pattern to check around you. After checking right, use your rearview mirrors.

10. Anticipate Slower Traffic

There will be times when the lane you’re in will slow down. When that happens, keep to the left or right of the car ahead of you, so if the lane traffic completely stops you can take advantage of the gap if it’s possible. If it’s not possible as there’s not enough space, just be ready when traffic moves again.

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@winnieharlow leading the way. #PFW

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11. Check Your Side Every 15 Seconds

It’s very easy to just focus on what’s ahead of us, and forget that some vehicles may suddenly come right behind us. You have to pay attention to what’s going on behind you, especially when you’re stopping your motorcycle or making a turn.

That means you should check your left and right side view every 10 or 15 seconds.

12. Remember the 2 to 4-Second Following Rule

When you’re riding in broad daylight, you should keep enough distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. This distance should take at least 2 to 4 seconds to travel should the vehicle suddenly stop for no reason. At night, this distance should be increased to 4 to 6 seconds.

It’s easy enough to test this distance. Note when the car in front of you passes a landmark, like a tree or a spot on the road. Then count the number of seconds (1-Mississippi-2-Mississippi) it takes for you to reach that same spot.

13. Check Out the Road Surface Ahead

There may be potholes, wet spots, or large stones that can spell travel for you and your scooter. Always be aware of what’s coming. If there’s a blind turn and you can’t see ahead, then you better slow down.

14. Obey the Road Rules

Whether or not there are cops around giving out tickets, you just have to obey the traffic laws so that you don’t cause even worse traffic with your shenanigans. Don’t even think about jumping the red light, as it’s just too dangerous.

15. Be In the Lookout for Open Zones

It can be hard on the nerves when you’re constantly sandwiched between 2 cars in separate lanes when you’re caught in traffic. But there are sometimes open zones that you can breeze in through when you’re riding in a low gear.

Remember all these rules and you’ll be good when you’re stuck in traffic while out on your scooter!

Author Details
Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

john@lastartups.com
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Editor-In-Chief
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

john@lastartups.com