We’re launching version 2.0 of free-floating bike share to give people more options to get around Seattle.

After months of evaluation and review, at Mayor Jenny Durkan’s direction we’re ready to issue permits to three bike share vendors for the next permit year – JumpLime, and Lyft– so people have more options for getting around Seattle.

 

Good results from our bike share pilot.

We learned in our free-floating bike share pilot that bike share is providing people with another way to get around – especially to access transit. At no cost to the City of Seattle, bike share users took over 2 million total rides through September 2018, including over 9,000 rides per day in July. Three-quarters of people who used bike share said that they used it to access public transit.

Because the bike share pilot has provided Seattle residents and visitors another option for getting around conveniently, at Mayor Durkan’s direction, we recommended to the City Council that Seattle adopts an annually renewable bike share permitting program. That program gives us the chance to apply lessons learned from the pilot so that it can be even better for Seattle residents and visitors, more equitable, and provide even more options for getting around.

 

There’s a new bike share or two in town!

Those new permits are here! While each company is permitted 6,667 bikes, we expect the two new-to-Seattle companies, Jump and Lyft, to use the wet-weather months to gradually roll out their fleets, which could ramp up to nearly 20,000 available bikes by spring 2019. In the meantime, Lime will transition to the new permitting system, and their green bicycles and e-bikes will remain a part of Seattle’s transportation system. To learn more about how each of these companies will operate in Seattle, check out our bike share webpage for links to each company’s websites and permit applications.

 

You’ll notice some changes to Seattle’s bike share system.

In addition to new bike share companies and more bikes, expect to see some changes to Seattle’s bike share system over the coming months.

 

Bike share parking in Ballard.

MORE bike share parking, bike racks, & corrals

One of the largest changes you’ll notice is a dramatic increase in bike parking citywide. As part of the bike share program, we’re applying a portion of the permitting fees collected from Jump, Lime, and Lyft, and will be building more bike parking citywide. This will increase our supply of bike racks and bike corrals by almost 20% in the next year alone! We’re also redesigning our on-street bike parking areas to better accommodate more bike share bikes, cargo bikes, and family bikes.

 

MORE reporting tools

In addition to more citywide bike parking, our new bike share permit will allow us to do a lot more to ensure that these bikes won’t block Seattle’s sidewalks, bus stops, curb ramps, or otherwise block access. We’ll be actively monitoring how bikes are parked and reducing the fleet sizes of companies that don’t meet our high standards for proper parking.

We’ll also be developing a bike-reporting tool, to allow people to directly report poorly parked bikes to us. That way we can make sure they are moved in a timely manner while collecting better data on how many bikes are improperly parked.

 

MORE affordability for people with lower incomes

We’ve also made sure that bike share remains affordable for people with lower incomes and have required each company to have easy-to-access low-income plans for those that qualify. Each company also has convenient ways for people without smartphones or bank accounts to still access bike share. Coming soon, visit our webpage for more info on how to access these features.

 

MORE opportunities for feedback!

Finally, we know that the bike share industry will continue to change and that our permitting structure will need to change along with it. That’s why we are committed to a continued evaluation of our permitting program. We’ll continue to collect and evaluate ridership data and will be reaching out for your opinions on what’s working and what needs improvement in Seattle’s bike share system. Let us know your thoughts, and we’ll keep working to ensure bike share keeps Seattle moving!

 

Connect with us.

For more information on Seattle’s free-floating bike share, visit our webpage, email our bike share program manager, Joel Miller, at joel.miller@seattle.gov or call 206.684.7639.

 

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