The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is looking to take control of the Pronto Cycle Share network to rejuvenate the Seattle bike sharing scene. Pronto, which started a year ago, shows a slow gain in popularity with ridership lagging in the first few months, but picking up during the summer "riding months.” However, SDOT sees the potential in the bike sharing program and wants to expand the fleet and infrastructure.
Seattle Mayor Outlines Plan to Expand Pronto Bike Share Program by End of 2016
Mayor Ed Murray's budget proposal is at $5 million to purchase 2,000 new bicycles for the Pronto Cycle Share fleet. In addition to the city money, a potential $10 million in matching federal grants would go to buy bike rental stations and other essential amenities to improve the sharing program. If SDOT acquires the program, sponsorships are expected to add another $3 million to the rejuvenation project.
If the matching grants are acquired, they are expected to help put more Pronto bike sharing stations around North Seattle College, South Seattle College, providing an alternative mode of transportation to students. Expansions of the Seattle bike sharing program are looking to the areas of West Seattle, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Fremont, and Queen Anne Hill.
Discussions are also open to bringing in electric bicycles to help with some of the more elevated hill areas. Overall, the Pronto bike-sharing fleet is slated to expand to 2,500 bikes and 250 stations by the end of 2016.
The current fleet stands at 500 bikes and 50 stations only serving the following.
- University District
- South Lake Union
- Capitol Hill
The Seattle Bike Sharing Program Will Mean More Bikes On Our Roads
Seattle is already a very bicycle-friendly city, and when the weather is good, you can tell the bicycle owners take advantage of it. Remember that ridership always rises in late spring through mid-fall when the weather is best for a pleasant ride outdoors.
As Seattle expands its pedestrian districts and encourages more alternative transportation by developing bike-friendly infrastructure, more bicyclists will be sharing our roads. If you drive on a regular basis, it is your responsibility as a vehicle operator to be aware of bicyclist rights.
Remember to take caution when driving near bike lanes, and yield the right of way to cyclists when there is no lane in which they can safely travel. If you are a Seattle bicyclist, you also need to respect traffic and avoid any dangerous or negligent actions.
Good ways to improve your personal safety.
- Wearing proper safety gear
- Keeping your bike in good working condition
- Having an emergency kit at the ready
More Bicycles on the Roads May Create a Higher Risk of Bicycle Accidents
If you or a loved one are seriously injured in a bicycle accident, you have the right to seek the help of a Seattle bicycle accident attorney when pursuing an injury claim. Contact Max Meyers Law to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your bike accident and injuries, 425-399-7000.