Part of that gap is likely due to the gender gap within Pronto’s service area. For example, the 2010 Census counted 32 percent more men than women living in South Lake Union, and Amazon’s workforce is heavily-male. South Lake Union is among Pronto’s busiest areas.
But there is much more to the issue than simple demographics. Thousands of women bike in Seattle every day, but surveys and commute data consistently find that men bike at a higher rate. Bike share systems around the nation have found similar gender gaps.
But Pronto plans to do something to change this. So they are launching Seattle’s first ever Women’s Bike Month in March, packing the calendar with women-focused and women-led bike rides and events.
The March 5 #WomenWhoBike group ride will be a major highlight of the month. Women leaders from city government, bicycle non-profits and all around Seattle’s bike culture invite all women to ride with them from the Pronto HQ in South Lake Union to City Hall.
In cities around the world with flourishing bike cultures, women bike as often — or more often — than men. Of all the big cities in the US, Seattle may be most ready to address this urban cycling gender gap, since nearly every major bike advocacy leadership position is held by a woman.
More details on Women’s Bike Month, the #WomenWhoBike ride and how to get involved:
As of February 24, thirty-six percent of Pronto Annual Members identified as female. Of the 24,973 member trips logged since launch, only nineteen percent were completed by women. With these statistics, Pronto joins a multitude of North American bike share systems reporting significant gender gaps. These figures are not specific to bike share as approximately seventy-one percent of bicycle commuters in Washington State are male. In fact, bike share systems are reported to address many of the barriers to biking commonly cited by women, and Pronto has every intention of continuing that trend.
In an effort to increase female ridership and raise the profile of women who bike, Pronto is declaring March as Seattle’s first Women’s Bike Month. On March 5, Pronto invites female riders citywide to share a bike lane with the State’s most influential women in bike advocacy . From Councilmembers to Executive Directors, the Pronto #WomenWhoBike Ride will include leaders from: WABikes, Cascade Bicycle Club, Commute Seattle, BikeWorks, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, Sound Transit, Seattle City Council, and more.
Despite the gender imbalance among cyclists, the majority of the State’s most prominent bicycle organizations are led by women; and, in 2014, Washington was named the #1 Bicycle Friendly State for the 7th year in a row. The Pronto #WomenWhoBike Ride hopes to highlight these accomplishments and generate the visibility of female cyclists. Attendees will depart from the Pronto Cycle Share Operations Center at 2229 7th Avenue in South Lake Union. To join, female cyclists must arrive by 5:30pm with a Pronto or bike of their own. The ride will last for approximately fifteen minutes and end at Pronto’s City Hall Station (4th/James). For a full list of participants, please visit: www.bit.ly/womenride.
From March 1 -31, Pronto will partner with local and national women-owned and mission-driven businesses to host a series of contests, giveaways, and discounts in celebration of women riders. Participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #WomenWhoBike, which has also been used by Divvy, Chicago’s bike share system.
For a full list of Women’s Bike Month events and promotions, please visit: www.prontocycleshare.com/womenwhobike.
Women on Wheels 2015 at Gregg’s
Don’t want to wait until March to hang out with other women and talk bikes? You don’t have to! Gregg’s Cycles in Green Lake is hosting their annual Women on Wheels party tonight (Thursday) from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Here’s a video from last year’s event: