Have you found the yellow ‘unicorn’ Pronto bike yet?

Image from Pronto

Image from Pronto

499 are green. One is yellow.

Pronto Cycle Share has launched its first “unicorn bike.” It’s a new marketing scheme and game where they put one special yellow bike into circulation and encourage people to post on social media using the hashtag #VitaminP when they find it.

It’s rainy and grim out, so the yellow bike is supposed to be like a little bit of sunshine. Riding a bike can help but cheer you up, so it’s like medicine in a Seattle winter. It definitely works that way for me.

If you spot the bike and post about it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you’ll have a chance to win a prize.

While this unicorn bike is solely promotional for Pronto, the concept could also be used for sponsored marketing campaigns. For example, when I was last in Chicago, I found the Divvy #blackhawksbike, which promoted the start of the NHL team’s season. It was surprisingly fun to find the one bike that is different than the others. I even had some guy in a pickup roll down his window next to me and congratulate me on finding it (I thought he was gonna yell some anti-bike stuff at me, so that was a pleasant surprise).

Now, I must find the yellow Pronto and ride it. Rain be damned.

UPDATE: Here’s an update on Pronto usage in the 15 weeks since it launched:

Bike share launched October 13, 2014. Just 15 weeks later, Pronto had:

  • Total Membership: 2,145 Annual Members and 4,401 24 Hour & 3 Day Pass Holders
  • Trips Taken: 28,622 rides with an average of 258 miles per day
  • Miles Logged: 56,440 (2+ trips around the earth)
  • CO2 Reduced: 45,840 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions, or 2,334 gallons of gasoline
  • Calories Burned: 2,426,933 or 17,335 cans of cola.

Busiest Stations:

1.     REI / Yale Ave N & John St REI Station
2.     3rd Ave & Pike St
3.     PATH / 9th Ave & Westlake Ave GroupHealth Station
4.     Westlake Ave & 6th Ave GroupHealth Station
5.     7th Ave & Pine St Seattle Children’s Station
6.     E Harrison St & Broadway Ave E GroupHealth Station
7.     2nd Ave & Vine St
8.     Occidental Park / Occidental Ave S & S Washington St
9.     Pier 69 / Alaskan Way & Clay St REI Station
10.  Republican St & Westlake Ave N GroupHealth Station

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16 Responses to Have you found the yellow ‘unicorn’ Pronto bike yet?

  1. Cheif says:

    Vitamin P and it’s yellow.
    :x pppfffahahahhaha

    • Al Dimond says:

      Well, bananas have lots of potassium, but that’s Vitamin K…

    • jay says:

      Well, you are easily amused. But still, one would think they might have taken a look at the hashtag #VitaminP before adopting it (caution, one or two pictures are NSFW, as some might well imagine, if you can’t imagine, first; congratulations, second; don’t look)

      Apropos of nothing, I saw the Unicorn bike at pier 69 today.

  2. Edwin says:

    One of the major metrics for bike share utilization is trips per bike per day.
    From the ITDP Bike Share Planning document (page 41):
    https://www.itdp.org/the-bike-share-planning-guide-2/
    Barcelona 11 trips per bike per day
    Lyon, NYC 8
    Rio, Montreal 7
    Paris, Mexico City 6
    Boston 4
    Denver, London 3
    and so on…

    Seattle: 0.5
    Should pick up in the warmer/lighter months.
    28,622 trips / 15 weeks / 7 days per week / 500 bikes = 0.5 trips per bike per day.

    • Mike says:

      It’s still very early. The system just rolled out in October. It’ll be interesting to see how these numbers look a year in.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        Agreed. Pronto has not yet had a warm season to market itself and become part of people’s habits. But we’ll definitely be watching.

  3. Al Dimond says:

    Interesting that Yale/Republican tops the list. It’s near a reasonably popular bus stop, the first stop after getting off the freeway for various routes coming from the north on I-5 (e.g. 512 and friends) and the east on 520 (e.g. 255, 545), so it could be used to fill in the last mile for regional transit users heading to various places in SLU. But the stop is only used in the inbound direction (outbound buses use Olive, closer to the 9th/Pine Pronto station), so I wonder if there are balancing issues there.

  4. Zach Shaner says:

    Unless I’ve been in a coma and no one told me, I’m pretty sure you mean “In the 15 weeks since it launched.” ;)

  5. SalPonce says:

    Having taken a job in Belltown but often having to go to Downtown for meetings I have found my pronto membership very useful. Friends laugh a little when I say I’ll grab a bike and head back to work but it has been quite useful.
    I hope to find the unicorn bike even if it is a bit cheesy I enjoy the notion of that golden ride.

  6. daihard says:

    I’ve been looking around for the yellow one since yesterday, but no luck so far. :(

  7. Guy de Gouville says:

    Is this the silver bike that they just painted over? ;)

  8. jay says:

    Well, a yellow “P” bike is cute, but what would be really cool is a bike like the one at about 0:32 in this http://vimeo.com/24241296 video. 3:37 is pretty cute too.
    One might want to fast forward past about 0:40-0:44 and 1:48-1:58 ’cause that’s just depressing.

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  10. GBallard says:

    Spotted yesterday in front of City Hall at about 5:15pm…

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