Bike share in Seattle on track for late summer opening

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It looks like Seattle will be joining the swelling ranks of cities worldwide where people commuting or running errands can  quickly rent a bike for a few minutes or a day.

The Puget Sound Bike Share announced Thursday that it plans to put 500 bicycles on the streets by late summer. They’ll be available at 50 curbside stations in South Lake Union, Downtown, Capitol Hill and the U-District.

The station locations will be chosen based on the results of meetings in the neighborhoods. Holly Houser, executive director of Puget Sound Bike Share, said they’ll place an order for the bikes later this month.

The bike-share operations will be provided by partners Alta Bike Share and 8D Technologies. Portland-based Alta Bike Share had signed on for the Seattle job last year but lost its technology partner to bankruptcy. Alta and 8D announced their partnership this spring.

Houser said the partners will use technology already proved in Washington D.C. / Arlington, Boston, and Minneapolis in the U.S., as well as Melbourne, London, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

At the beginning of 2014, 40 cities in the US offered bike share systems. The largest was New York City, with 5,000 bicycles stored at 332 stations.

Typically, a user can sign up for an annual membership of less than $100 a year that allows free use of the bikes for short periods, say a half hour. Longer trips are charged on a sliding scale.

The bikes must be left at the stations, and users can unlock them using a key or card system.

In Seattle, helmets also will be provided.

For more, see:

Puget Sound Bike Share press release

Seattle Times — Bike Share gearing up for Seattle streets this summer

Seattle Bike Blog — Seattle-based system will pioneer new bike share partnership


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