Seattle, Washington has long been known for its cloudy days and great coffee. However, the city has another new distinction – bike-sharing hotspot.
Less than five months ago, the city shut down its struggling bike-sharing system, which was kept afloat by taxpayer money.
However, over the past month, three new innovative bike-sharing companies have opened in Seattle, quickly putting the failure of the past to bed.
The government of Seattle will receive much more data on the bike trips, to help it plan local transportation better. By the end of this year, Seattle should have the largest bike-sharing network in the U.S.
The latest surge in bike-sharing has all taken place without the use of a cent of funding by taxpayers.
One bike blogger in Seattle said that the city turned what had been a big failure into a current success story within just a few months.
Seattle has become the bike-sharing gateway and a number of other U.S. cities have started to look at Seattle to see what it is doing.
Seattle’s recent success with bike-sharing includes some good fortune relate to timing and a good permitting system.
This summer Seattle became one of the first in the U.S. to issue a permit to private bike-sharing systems that do not need the use of docks or stations to park their bicycles.
Instead, the bikes are able to be left on public sidewalks provided they are not blocking pedestrian or driveway access.
That makes it much more convenient for the riders and is seen widely as the future for bike-sharing.
Riders can locate bicycles through an app on their smartphone. A lock on the bicycle’s rear wheel can be unlocked when the rider scans the QR code on the bike.
As the failed bike sharing system in Seattle was being winded down, LimeBike, which opened in July, and Spin competitor, were trying to raise funds from tech giants in Silicon Valley and looking for what cities they could launch in.
Seattle, with its young and active population, a bike lane network throughout, and no bike-sharing available, was their obvious choice.
Since then Ofo a China based bike-sharing company has always opened in Seattle.