There are 10,000 orange, green, and yellow bikes available for rent on the streets of Seattle — and, the city says, around 7,000 of them are parked without blocking the sidewalk, presumably upright, and not underwater.
The City of Seattle’s chaotic but kinda fun test of floating bike shares is ready for its next step — regulations to help the clearly popular but still a work in progress component of the city’s transit system work even better. It’s one urbanist adventure where Seattle is firmly in the lead over many other big cities in U.S.
CHS looked at many of the options on the table including designated parking areas here in January. Tuesday, the Seattle City Council’s transportation committee heard an update on program and the next steps on forming new permitting requirements for providers like Limebike, Ofo, and Spin. The full presentation from the meeting is below.
As of June, Seattle’s floating bike share population has hit 10,000 — with 1,400 of those being electric-assist bikes from Limebike. Tuesday’s presentation focused on ridership data from the rollout of the floating shares in the city through December:
Ridership data shows a few interesting takeaways for who, what, when and where the bikes are being used. Areas around downtown show the most usage but the city says Rainer Valley and Georgetown outperformed expectations while Southwest Seattle lagged. The bikes have been most popular as a commuter tool on weekday evenings.
Survey says people like the idea of the floating shares — but most people who call about them have complaints… mostly about how they are parked:
Lots of people also complain about riders using the bikes without helmets but, so far, it hasn’t been a safety issue. Many advocates say Seattle and King County’s helmet requirements will hold back usage of bike share systems. But don’t expect the city council to act on that one anytime soon.
The City Council will discuss new permit regulations through June with plans for a final vote on June 29th and a new permit in place for the providers by the end of July.