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How will you use Seattle’s new Alaska Airlines-sponsored Pronto! bikes?

bike_with_P_alaskaThe Puget Sound Bike Share is scheduled for a mostly on time arrival serving Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Downtown and the U-District starting this September. A key component of the new system was unveiled Monday — the major brand sponsor for the bike share will be Alaska Airlines, program officials announced.

The new branding for the program is the Pronto! Emerald City Cycle Share. The $2.5 million, five-year sponsorship announcement is a major milestone for the share that has hit a bump or two along the way before picking up steam this spring. Group Health will also gear up to sponsor 15 of the share’s bike stations on Capitol Hill and in SoLu.

The new system will begin with 500 bikes. Each station will have docks for 12 to 20 bikes and will feature a kiosk where non-members can sign up for 24-hour, or multiday passes, and or access bikes using a code. Those who pay $85 for an annual membership will be able to bypass the kiosk and check bikes out directly from their docks. In order for PSBS to operate in compliance with Washington State helmet laws, each station will also have a “helmet dispensing” device, and a helmet return bin. Helmets will be available to rent for $2, will be sanitized after each use, and cycled out after a certain number of uses. Final station locations have not yet been announced. A 24-hour pass will cost $8 or you can three days for $16.

The program is planned to eventually roll out throughout the county — here’s how director Holly Houser explained it to CHS last year:

Houser believes a rollout that would include Capitol Hill will plant the seed for further expansion of the program throughout the city and region. If there were enough funds available, and enough demand for the system, Houser says PSBS’s would “launch phase 1b or 2” within twelve months of the initial launch, bringing bike share to Westlake, Fremont, Wallingford, the Central District, and possibly Ballard. From there, the program would “keep expanding outward,” with later phases bringing the system to Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, and the Microsoft Campus, she said. Some of those farther flung location would not be connected to other parts of the system, however. “It would be kind of cost prohibitive” to ride that far considering the charges for using a bike for more than thirty minutes, Houser explained, “and you wouldn’t really wanna ride these bikes that far because they’re not really that easy to ride.”

Annual, daily and 72 hour memberships for the share will go on sale starting August 25th at

unnamed (23)Wednesday, Mayor Ed Murray will be on the Hill to help kick off a series of informational meetings about the new program with a session at 10th and Pike’s Barboza:

Community planning workshops are an opportunity to learn more about the program’s launch timeline, functionality, installation, ongoing operations, membership, etc. and most importantly, to weigh in on station locations. Check out the list to find a workshop in your neighborhood!


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24 thoughts on “How will you use Seattle’s new Alaska Airlines-sponsored Pronto! bikes?

  1. Pingback: Seattle To Introduce Bike Share Program « CBS Seattle

  2. great advertising!

    It would be kind of cost prohibitive” to ride that far considering the charges for using a bike for more than thirty minutes, Houser explained, “and you wouldn’t really wanna ride these bikes that far because they’re not really that easy to ride.”

    • Well, yea. There’s a big difference between a commuter bike that’s sturdy enough for idiots to use and good to go two miles, and a nice road bike that you’d be happy to ride 12 miles on. It would be crazy stupid for a bike share program to optimize for the 12 mile case.

  3. I was in San Francisco last month and saw these bikes at a station on Market @Polk. There where about a dozen slots, but only 3 available on a Friday afternoon. There was video surveillance of the station…but I don’t think that will stop vandalism or theft.

  4. The person tasked with selling these told you “they’re not that easy to ride”?

    That does not bode well for the program.

    I ride bikes. I don’t get it.

  5. This is not a new concept (read Citi bikes in NYC). Surprised it took this to reach Seattle as we are a much more bike-friendly city. NOT enthused however, with a bunch more people on the road on bikes. These users will likely not be your every day bike-to-work folks who know (in most cases) the rules of the road. I’d like to know the stats of how many accidents involved riders of these bikes come September 2015. And what about the helmets…

    • ROFLMAO… are you implying that these new bike riders will all be people who’ve never earned a driver’s license or will they be DRIVERS who in most cases don’t know the rules of the road… sad, sad, sad, but oh how true. Kudo’s to the drivers who blasted by me today *and* yesterday when I was stopped (on my bike!) to wait for a pedestrian to cross the road

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