Cheesy. I'll consider it after the Stranger staffers start wearing blue and green uniforms.
I love you all, but I don't want to share a helmet with you. gross!
There are multiple bike manufacturer's in Washington State, so it's pretty disappointing that this went to a French firm.

I imagine there are a plethora of Boeing jokes here.
Hmm, helmet rentals are interesting. Do any other major bike share programs have that? I wonder how it works out elsewhere. I probably wouldn't want to share a helmet.
Awesome idea.
30 minute rentals? Wtf? Is there going to be a redistribution thing? I imagine that most bikes from CH will start stockpiling in Downtown.
@4: we have a helmet law. other cities don't.
Is the kiosk going to require a promise to wear a helmet or test for knowledge of the rules related to bicycling ? The lawyers must be circling.
Are the anarchists going to block and trash these bikes because of the corporate sponsorship?
Are you sure about the pricing? I'm guessing the prices you give are to essentially get a 1-day, 3-day, etc membership, and rental prices are on top of that. In Chicago. It's $7 for a 1--day membership. Then, the first half-hour is free, and then you pay then based on the amount of time you have the bike "checked out."
If savvy, one can pick up a bike, ride for a half-hour, check it in at another kiosk, then check it out again and avoid paying for time used. This is not technically the pay-schedule, but a way around it. It requires a lot of kiosks in a lot of locations.
But, hey, we found $2.5 million to spend on bike shares for those Seattle hipsters while our employees in SeaTac still have a $12/hr minimum wage. Throw the peasants some peanuts.... and paint em with Seahawks/Sounders colors while you're at it because the stadium was built on car rental taxes mostly from the airport.…
Alaska Airlines, long a target of labor activists calling for a $15 minimum wage at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, said Friday it has negotiated a pay raise to $12 an hour for entry-level employees who work for its local vendor partners.
@11 That's not a way around it--that's the point of it, how it works more or less everywhere from Paris to Minneapolis. No bike trip in the share area takes anywhere near a half hour. You ride to where you're going, and you leave the bike at a bikeshare rack there. When you're ready to go again, you take another bike.
@6 They do. These programs use bike trailers to redistribute bikes periodically as they build up in certain locations.
@10, we have the same pricing (except I pay only 75 a year). You only pay the extra $1.50 if you have one bike out for more than 30 minutes (which is almost impossible to do, since you pass several bike racks on the way to where-ever you're going). So the first 30 minutes is free, for each bike.

(actually that IS how Divvy/Chicago works too, hmmm. Sorry, buddy. I made that mistake at first too:

As far as helmets, we waived our helmet rules in Arlington/DC with the new Bikeshare program in mind. It might just be easiest for you guys to just carry your own helmet, yes?
As far as "balancing" the racks, there are people who drive around picking up bikes or dropping off bikes, so that the racks are always about half full. Congrats on getting 7 gears by the way :-).
Or what everybody above me said...
Is it a really "bike share" if you have to rent them? Seems to me this is a public facing bike rental, which has very different implications.

Cities that had real "bike shares" have refundable deposits. The bikes were essentially free to use.

Yeah. Other than tourists (and I doubt even that will be very popular given our weather and terrain), I think this will prove to be a huuuuge flop.
$8/day is a hell of a lot better than the relatively few bike shops that rent bikes. They're usually at least $30.

Still think this will fail, due in part to the local helmet laws. Hopefully people will be scofflaws and we can get it repealed.
That bike has a dong.
I hope they stay in business long enough to figure out what they are doing. Plenty of folks have mentioned the helmet issue, but the bigger problem is that it doesn't include the Burke Gilman. Yes, you can ride a bike through the busy streets of downtown (doesn't that sound like fun --…) but riding from Fremont to the UW? Not yet. Lots of people have mentioned this on the various blogs (the bike blogs, the transit blogs, the company's website, etc.) but they still think people want to ride downtown (where there is really good transit) instead of from the UW (which has lots of bus stops and will soon have a train station) to Fremont or Ballard.

I don't know anyone who will use this service as it is currently designed (they will walk, drive or take the bus). Put stations in the UW, Fremont and Ballard and I'll buy a season pass tomorrow.

Their decision making is even more ridiculous when you consider they are trying to get tourists to use these things. What tourist would rather ride through the busy streets of downtown, or navigate South Lake Union (which has streetcar tracks) instead of the quiet, flat and very pretty Burke Gilman? None that I've ever met.

How about we get a video of the Mayor huffing it up Pike from 1st to 6th on one of these?

It's actually King County's bike helmet law, not Seattle. So if they want a bike share exemption, it's out of the Seattle Mayor and Council's hands.


There's a bike factory in Washington? Where?
Well, I've been a big critic, but kudos to Murray on this.
Repeal the helmet law - and try to get these bikes in ASAP. As in my experience it rains least around here in the summer time!
@13 &. @ 14 - I am a resident if Chicago. I know how Divvy works. I myself have used Divvy. I remember the confusion here when they first became available. Many people were charged when they thought they shouldn't be, because of poorly-used wording. The $7 Divvy charge allows, for a $24-hour period, the ability to use a bike. It doesn't allow 24-use of that bike. If it's written "24-hour bike rental - $7," the casual user will not realize there are charges after the first half- hour.
This happened in Chicago. It will hapoen in Seattle. My point is that the language used by Slog writers should be clear to avoid as much confusion as possible.
I saw this system in Antwerp very recently and it works very well. Hope it works.

And yes, there was a re-positioning system in Antwerp and so I imagine they'll have one here too.

I had been trying to recall Redline out of Kent when I wrote that, but saw a bunch of different outfits, including shops that make their own frames, some perhaps a little small for the gig, but at least keeping much of the money local and the transportation impacts lower.
WRT helmet laws- Melbourne AU has such a law, and (because of it?) the bike share system has fared poorly there. Seattle will be the first to try it with helmet vending machines. Vancouver BC - all of British Columbia has a helmet law- will be the second.

If there are stations on UW campus- particularly the parts, such as Engineering, that are some distance from the Ave- I think they will be quite popular with staff, particularly at lunch but also throughout the workday.
@17: if you think Seattle/King Co. would ever repeal a law concerning safety, you don't know this place very well. things only rachet one way, tighter.

if anything, that effort will wind up with new required safety features on top of helmets. greaves, wrist guards, safety glasses. perhaps airbags for your face.
I ride my bike to work, and work downtown, and I will probably use this to run errands during lunch. It's more convenient than changing shoes and carrying a lock for short trips.
Apparently they only want girls and homos to ride those bikes...
Front fender is too short.

Redline, and all their co-brands at Seattle Bike Supply (Torker, etc) are made in China. Kona bikes are made in Taiwan.

I don't know of any bicycle factories in Washington, other than artisan frame builders. Nobody who could supply a bike share program, other than to forward the specs on to their Chinese partner. Which is the same thing that French company is going to do.
I hope they can integrate it with Metro. My typical use case would be when a bus will drop me off 2-3 miles from a location, which is too far to walk but easy to bike. Enough bike stands near Metro routes would entice me to get a yearly membership.
DOUG. 30
I ride my bike to work, and work downtown, and I will probably use this to run errands during lunch. It's more convenient than changing shoes and carrying a lock for short trips.

So you'll go to your desk and get your helmet but not shoes ? I think you'll want a lock, since most of the time bike shares keep your credit card on file in case the bike disappears.
@35: Putting on a helmet takes no time. Changing shoes and socks (twice) does. And bike shares don't need locks, that's what the docks are for.
Helmets are such a big deal in American cities because they are so much more car-dominated than cities elsewhere in the world. In Europe, Asia, and Latin America, people ride everywhere without helmets because the streets are designed in a much more pedestrian-and-bicycle-friendly way. It's actually the most striking difference when you compare American cyclists with non-American cyclists.
Why wearing helmets is such a big deal in American cities, but not elsewhere in the world:…

Let's have R+E and Davidson fabricate the bikes! Only have to add a $200 up charge for the artisanal bike share bikes.

RE: bikes piling up downtown: FOR REAL. There's going to need to be a full time employee just shuttling bikes up from downtown to CH. Anyone who is badass enough to ride a bike up from downtown to First Hill or Capitol Hill already owns a bike.
I suppose I would ride one if I where gay.
Awesome. I will use these all the time.
I recall that in Montreal you get credits for riding the bikes up the "hills" to help redistribute them. Seattle riders should get credits and a free beer at the top of our real hills. Then it might work.
Chinese bikes? I guess liberals only want to pay $15/hr wages when someone else has to take the hit.
The yearly fee is too high. Otherwise, if there were racks along my commute (which is, whenever possible, walking), I would totally use this.
@33 Oops! I saw "made in the USA" on their site and thought I had found what I was looking for... Thanks a lot Internet!

Perhaps I was thinking of Volcanic, who I may have thought was bigger... Although 500 isn't exactly a huge fleet.

** Volcanic "APB" Approach Patrol Bicycle, is hand-built in the USA specifically for the bicycle patrol industry, to the standards required to withstand the rigors of daily patrol.

** Our super strong frames are cut, machined, welded and powder coated in Washington State, allowing us to offer our customers a Life Time Frame Warranty and a Made in the USA product.

That said, this unspecified firm in France has zero presence here, and could be getting their components from anywhere. I was advocating for sorta local (like Boeing) not demanding local sourcing, with the majority of it falling within a 360 mile radius of Seattle, or something.
These comments crack me up, so similar to what is said before every other bikeshare system tuners out to be a success[1]. The only thing that might keep this from working well is the helmet law, which has been a big wet blanket over the Melborne, Austrialia, system [2].
@32, that green thing connects it to the dock. The fender is the less-visible black thing.
@46, for me the fee works out to about 5ยข per trip.
Motorcycle renters (yep, can be done) have been sharing helmets for years. And hipsters have been not wearing helmets (and not sharing anything) for... ever. That should be reason enough to wear & share.

Grow a pair, folks.
@50: That's 1700 trips a year. Admirable.
I agree with @32 - the front fender is far too short for our rainy city.
That's not the fender.

Please wait...

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