Capitol Hill’s Pronto stations — we looked at the most-utilized Capitol Hill bike share stops here
In October, CHS reported on the City of Seattle’s plans to take over the Pronto bike share system to stabilize an underused system, expand it to more of the city, and transform the fleet into a new generation of bikes. Basically, to keep pace with cities from New York to Denver. All that has changed since then are the headlines.
Well… and, maybe, the timeline and price tag.
The City Council’s transportation committee Tuesday will take up the transition of the system from the third-party nonprofit that launched Seattle’s bike share and the $1.4 million needed to pull it out of the red, avoid paying money to the feds, and put the system on track for a 2017 expansion.
The City’s planned timeline:
1. 2017 launch
2. Expanded service area w/ SE Seattle
3. Current scenario based on 100
4. Open to Gen 4.0 electric. May sell or retrofit existing
5. Can recover 100% of op ex from sponsors & users, 2018
The early draft of how the network might expand
Here’s how City Council staff describe the plan:
Puget Sound Bike Share, doing business as Pronto, launched a bike share system in Seattle in October, 2014. Due to ongoing operating losses brought on by debt service payments and operating overhead, the system is currently insolvent. The City seeks to purchase assets from Pronto and contract directly with the operator to keep bike share operational in Seattle. SDOT needs a portion of the funds allocated in the 2016 budget for bike share to purchase the assets.
Where would the money come from? $5 million in Seattle’s 2016 budget was approved for expanding the Pronto network. A federal TIGER grant, meanwhile, has allowed the city to purchase 28 of the system’s 54 stations.
Hold on there, CHS. Why spend money on an “insolvent” system? First, the City Council analysis explains what happened: Continue reading