With its test period wrapped and parking ‘improved,’ Seattle hands out new scooter share permits

A Bird fleet manager at work (Image: Bird)

Seattle is shuffling through a renewed set of providers for the city’s fleet of shared scooters and bikes with one brand new provider entering the mix and two others winding down operations in the city.

The Seattle Department of Transportation says the shuffling as it hands out permits for the 2022-2023 period comes with the conclusion of its “pilot phase” integrating the new scooters and bikes onto the city’s streets and sidewalks.

SDOT says the 2022-2023 providers came out on top in “a competitive application process” requiring each scooter company “to provide a detailed strategy for how they would address safety, equity, and improper parking.”

SDOT has selected three scooter companies to receive operation permits: Lime, LINK by Superpedestrian, and, a newcomer to the city, Bird. In addition to scooters, riders continue to have the option of renting shared bicycles from Lime and Veo.

SDOT says Wheels and Spin will not continue operating in Seattle and each has “a few weeks to wind down their operations and transfer their fleet to other cities.” Continue reading

New ‘seated’ option Wheels join Seattle’s scooter share fleet

A “a more accessible” scooter with a ride the company behind it says is smoother and more “suited to Seattle’s hills and weather” has joined the city’s fleet of private company-share transportation options.

Wheels has released its seated rental scooters onto the streets of Seattle Monday:

Wheels are designed far differently from traditional stand-up scooters. A seated riding position and low center of gravity provide a safer and more stable ride — one that’s more accessible for a much broader demographic, as evidenced by the fact that half of Wheels‘ riders are women and one-third are over the age of 35. Large 14-inch tires create a smooth ride across bumps, cracks, and uneven surfaces. And, unlike other offerings, Wheels comes with its own integrated helmet system! Initially, 20% of Wheels scooters in Seattle will have integrated helmets, but this will soon be scaled up to cover the whole fleet.

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Scooter-share finally rolls onto Seattle streets

The first provider of pay by the minute electric scooters has launched in Seattle with the green and white scooters already part of the Capitol Hill and Central District landscape.

Lime rolled out the first in its fleet Wednesday as part of Seattle’s newly launched scooter-share pilot program. Continue reading

With helmet requirements, sidewalk restrictions, and 15 MPH limit, Seattle approves scooter-share plan

The City Council has approved a plan that will bring three competitors to the city to launch an electric scooter-share system in Seattle.

The pilot plan approved Monday based on legislation pushed forward by Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office will allow three operators in the city with up to 500 scooters each. The fleet could eventually grow to 2,000 scooters for each operator. The operators will pay a $150 fee per scooter.

It’s not clear what companies will scoot forward to be part of the pilot. In June, bike share returned to Seattle after a brief hiatus as Uber made way for Lime to restore the service here. Lime has said the addition of scooters to its fleet of offerings is key to its operations and Seattle has said one of the scooter-share operators will also offer bikes. Continue reading

2020: Seattle’s summer of the scooter

This could be you (Image: Bird)

By next summer, electric scooters are primed to join Seattle’s growing fleet of privately-provided mobility options.

The Seattle Department of Transportation has announced the start of a year-long rollout process that includes three phases of outreach, City Hall wrangling over rules and permitting, and, then, eventually rollout in mid-2020.

“(A)t Mayor Durkan’s direction, we plan to draw lessons from other cities’ micro–mobility (a term for new, small, and electric transportation modes) programs and hear from community stakeholders before allowing scooter share in the City,” the SDOT announcement reads.

Before implementation, City Hall must address issues that have emerged with other scooter shares including rider safety and sidewalk safety issues. Continue reading

Why it’s now even harder to find a car share vehicle on Capitol Hill

The number of floating car share vehicles flowing onto Capitol Hill at night and flowing right back off in the morning has dropped this summer. BMW abruptly pulled the plug on ReachNow last week.

Following a splashy Capitol Hill launch party in spring of 2016, the Mini Coopers and BMWs became part of the weird, wild, and somewhat reliable transportation options provided by the smartphone-driven era of car, bike, scooter, etc. sharing in Seattle.

The service’s abrupt cancelation leaves drivers in the Pacific Northwest turning to the remaining providers including Daimler’s Car2go. In February, CHS reported on bike share company Lime expanding into the car business in Seattle to join the traffic jam of options. Other car share options in Seattle include the old school, fixed-space Zipcar and Getaround, a startup that sounds like the “Airbnb” of motor vehicles.

The numbers show that share services are hugely popular in Seattle and are also contributing to the city’s clogged streets with around 40,000 motor vehicle rides a day starting in downtown, Belltown, South Lake Union, and  on Capitol Hill.

LimePods join Seattle’s crowded shared transit fleet

(Image: Lime)

We’re well on our way to a Wall-E future where everybody rides a chair.

This week, Lime — after announcing its share bikes will soon be an all-electric fleet — also rolled out its LimePods for the general public in Seattle.

“Until now, the LimePod has only been available to a select group of super users and influencers,” we’re told.

LimePods, by the way, are cars. Eventually, the plan is for an electric ‘pod fleet, too. But, for now, Lime is just another floating car share gas guzzler in this town joining BMW’s ReachNow and Daimler’s car2go floating car share brands. Continue reading