Organizers for Seattle Pronto Cycle Share couldn’t have asked for a better autumn day for the official roll-out of its 500-bike system on Monday.
It’s the type of day that just begs for a bike ride. [Not so much beginning tonight, as rain and winds will blow in for the rest of the week].
The nation’s newest bike share system recorded about 280 users in its first hour. Official launch-day rides to deliver bicycles to some of the stations may have been responsible for some of that number, but not all.
The only hitch in the system seems to be that potential riders are finding empty helmet bins at some of the 50 Pronto Cycle Share stations spread out roughly between the International District and the University District. Also, a Seattle Times reporter tweeted his bike had slipping gears, but he successfully replaced it with a better working model.
Helmet use is required for bicycle riders in Seattle, and Pronto is supplying the helmets. Helmet vending machines were not ready for this Oct. 13 launch, so the system is supplying the helmets in boxes at the stations.
Potential bicycle renters were being urged to keep looking for stations with helmet instead of going lidless. Pronto is continuing to make helmet deliveries throughout the day.
The Pronto Cycle Share machines provide clear instructions on how to pay for a one-day or three-day pass, and the fees for rides of more than 30 minutes. An annual membership is $85 and allows unlimited free rides of 30 minutes or less.
The interactive bike station map, below, has been activated, and clearly shows where to find available bikes, empty parking stalls, and more. It also tells when the station information was last updated.
More useful links to get you riding on Pronto…
Seattle interactive bike map (city of Seattle)
Pronto membership sign up
Cascade Bicycle Club offers lessons for using Pronto
Cycle Pronto twitter account