WeHo’s Pickup Shuttle Celebrates First Anniversary (and 60,000 Riders)

The launch of WeHo's Pickup party shuttle. (Photo by Joshua Barash
The launch of WeHo’s Pickup party shuttle. (Photo by Joshua Barash

The PickUp, West Hollywood’s free nighttime trolley, will celebrate its one-year anniversary this weekend. To celebrate, PickUp riders today and tomorrow will receive free giveaways and PickUp Perks cards, which offer discounts at local businesses in West Hollywood.

The PickUp (also known as The WeHo PickUp) is an irreverent trolley service that was launched by the city as a pilot program on Aug. 16 last year. In January, the West Hollywood City Council voted to continue the program. The PickUp is an alternative to driving for people who go out to the predominately gay-oriented bars and restaurants on or near Santa Monica Boulevard on Friday and Saturday nights.

A key to the success of The PickUp is its lighthearted vibe. The trolley features a bright palette of sexy graphic characters, which can loosely be interpreted as pop art from the 1960s. Onboard music thumps to beat mixes by DJ Derek Monteiro. Adding the service to a busy stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard on Friday and Saturday nights helps to curb drunk driving, eases parking, and reduces traffic congestion.

The City of West Hollywood’s Arts and Economic Development Division conducted an onboard survey of riders several months ago, and the results of that study were extremely positive — 84 percent of respondents “love everything about The PickUp” and ridership averages approximately 1,200 boardings per weekend. Currently, the city is conducting a feasibility and needs assessment to determine if additional days of service and route extensions may be added to The PickUp in the future.

The PickUp operates on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. It travels along Santa Monica Boulevard in a four-mile loop with 10 stops in each direction between Robertson Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. It arrives at stops every 15 minutes.

Among the VIP perks offered riders of The PickUp are VIP entry to The Abbey, a free appetizer with purchase of an entree at Hugo’s, 10 percent off an order at Yogurt Stop, a first drink at Fubar for five cents, and half-off a first drink at Here Lounge.