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Seattle University to launch bike share program, King County prepping system of its own

Seattle University students, faculty and staff may soon be able to participate in a school bike share system, according to The Spectator. The Seattle University Bike Share (SUBS) does not yet have a launch date, but the Associated Students of Seattle University (ASSU) released a resolution to build and fund the program.

The Bike Share would be available to the campus community, students and staff. According to the resolution, the stated mission of the program is to “promote alternative forms of transportation and awareness of sustainability efforts … to form bike culture on campus.”

According to Keelan Hooper, ASSU’s internal chief of staff, the Bike Share is drawing ever closer to implementation. “It has gathered a great deal of student support, and the support of several departments on campus. The university treats sustainability as a constant priority in all its projects, and is always exploring transportation options.”

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This makes the bike share a natural fit on campus. Hooper explains that ASSU is still exploring locations for the bike share, as well as other logistics, and as of yet there is no launch date set for the program.

The system would reportedly start with 20 bikes, and there will be a cost to participate.

City-wide bike share programs have proven successful all over the world, and systems are finally taking off around the country, including Denver, Chicago, Minneapolis and Washington DC.

King County has received a grant to design a system that could launch as early as 2012, said Eileen Kadesh, a transportation planner for the county:

King County and its partners are continuing work to implement a bike share program in 2012. We are in the process of selecting a consultant for a Bike Share Program Design Study to advise the team on the best business model, program sizing, station locations, and funding opportunities.

We currently have $150,000 in grant funds for 2011 to conduct a program design study, siting and permitting. Later this summer we will be seeking funding for an actual system.

Phase 1 of the county program would likely start with downtown Seattle neighborhoods, South Lake Union, UW and Redmond, according to Seattle Transit Blog.

A group of UW grad students conducted a Seattle bike share feasibility study, which they presented to the city one year ago. This extensive report looked at lots of GIS data and experiences in other cities to create a rough outline of a plan for Seattle. Based on many factors, here are the areas the group determined most potentially successful:

Mandatory bike helmet laws are a big issue facing any bike share system in King County. Seattle University’s system will include a checkout rental kit that includes a helmet and bike locks. However, a city-wide system would operate differently and should be available to people on a spur-of-the-moment basis. The report recommends either subsidizing helmet purchases until they are ubiquitous in the city or amending the helmet laws to at least allow some leeway for bike share users.

Here’s the full report (recommendations begin page 63):


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7 responses to “Seattle University to launch bike share program, King County prepping system of its own”

  1. Is it just me, or has King County already been ‘planning’ a bike-share system for longer than it took London’s to go from gleam in Mayor Livingstone’s eye to thousands of bikes on the streets?

  2. Kevin

    A bike sharing program in South Lake Union would have been a much better idea than the SLUT. Alas…

    1. Someone a bit bitter with the poor placement of tracks?

  3. Very cool stuff. Good on Seattle U!

  4. What ever happened to the UW’s electric bike share program? Didn’t they announce plans for one a couple years ago?

  5. […] to Seattle Bike Blog, both Seattle U and King County are looking seriously at bikeshare programs, akin to Denver’s […]

  6. […] laws are why bike-share programs succeed or fail. (Seattle Bike Blog readers, you can relax, you read about this several months ago: “Mandatory bike helmet laws are a big issue facing any bike share system in King […]

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