In a jubilant press conference in South Lake Union this morning, Mayor Ed Murray and Alaska Airlines CEO Brad Tilden revealed the look of the green and blue bicycles, branded with the airline's logo, that will flood Seattle's streets by the hundreds when Seattle's bike share program—now called Pronto Emerald City Cycle Share—launches this fall:
- Puget Sound Bike Share
The bikes are manufactured by the French firm Arcade, with 7 speeds "custom made for our hills," says Holly Houser, the program's director. That thing sticking out the front off the handlebars is a carrier basket with bungee cords.
Alaska Airlines' five-year exclusive sponsorship deal is worth $2.5 million. "I made one call and they said, let us know how to do it," said Murray, touting his business connections. He called this "an equity issue" and said membership in the program will cost less than owning a bike. The program launches with an initial fleet of 500 bikes in the areas of Downtown, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill, and the U-District.
So how much will it cost? $8 for a 24-hour bike rental, $16 for 3 days and $85 for an annual membership—any of which gets you unlimited 30 minute trips for the period of your purchase. Pick up a bike at one station, then deposit it at another. Riders can rent helmets for $2 out of kiosks at the bike share stations.
The system will be live by late September. Finally!