With a big plan for expanding Pronto Cycle Share, including a one-time budget expense to make it happen, the city has begun taking a more central role in the bike share system.
“Bike share really expands the reach of the transit system, particularly when you add e-bikes in there,” said SDOT Director Scott Kubly. And as other cities have learned, the bigger the system gets, the “network effect” makes the system both more useful and more financially stable.
That’s why Mayor Ed Murray included $5 million in his proposed 2016 city budget to help expand Pronto. If the city receives the funding to build the full plan outlined in a pending federal grant proposal, bike share could be within an easy walk of 62 percent of Seattle residents.
But with that much city skin in the game, leaders understandably want to have a more direct role in the system operations and ownership.
“We are working with Puget Sound Bike Share on having the city take over operations of pronto bike share,” said Kubly.
At the moment, the PSBS Board is still in charge. But as we reported in August, PSBS Executive Director Holly Houser has stepped down, leaving the organization unstaffed. SDOT’s Chief of Active Transportation and Partnerships Nicole Freedman is going to work with PSBS to help keep things moving in Houser’s absence, Kubly said. Continue reading