FAQ

 

 

Why bring bike sharing to King County?
King County has many of the characteristics required to make bike sharing successful, including concentrated population and employment centers, an extensive multi-modal public transit system, a large number of visitors, a culture that supports cycling (including the largest bike club in the country) and a policy environment that supports the growth of walking and cycling.
What are the key goals of Puget Sound Bike Share?

    • Develop a regional bike share system that allows multiple jurisdictions to participate and provides a consistent user experience and single pricing structure.
    • Provide a new mobility option for the region that extends the reach of public transit.
    • Increase the opportunity for residents and visitors to take part in healthy physical activity.
    • Reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector.
    • Fund the system using a diverse range of sources and provide a balanced mix of public and private involvement.

 

How does bike sharing work?
A bike sharing system consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy, very durable bikes that are locked into a network of docking stations sited at regular intervals around a city. The bikes can be rented from and then returned to any station in the system, creating an efficient network with many possible points and combinations of departure and arrival.
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What other cities have bike share programs?
Bike share systems exist in over 200 cities worldwide. There are currently over 30 systems in North America including:

Montreal
New York City
Boston
Miami
Washington D.C.
Minneapolis
Denver
Chicago
Boulder
Madison
Charlotte
Kansas City
San Francisco
San Antonio

Bike share systems launching in 2013/2014 include:

Vancouver, BC
Portland
San Diego

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What part of King County will get bike share?
Planning for Phase I of the system is still underway; however it will likely include 50 stations and 500 bikes in Seattle’s densest neighborhoods including Downtown, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union and the University Distict. Additional phases will expand the system to approximately 220 stations and 2,200 bikes and will likely include additional Seattle neighborhoods as well as Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue and Renton.
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How will it be funded?
Funding will include a combination of user-generated revenues, sponsorship of the system and/or its bikes and stations, public or grant funding, and private foundation funding.
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Where will stations be located and how far will I have to walk to pick up a bike?
Stations will be placed an average of 2 blocks apart, providing access to a bike within a short walk of anywhere in the service area and a variety of places to return a bike. Stations will require permitting approval, but are typically placed in sidewalks, public spaces, on-street or on public or private properties (in consultation with the land owner).
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How much will is cost to use the system?

Bike sharing is an incredibly affordable form of transportation. Annual, monthly and 24-hour memberships will be available where users pay a fee to access the system for a specific period of time. During that period, members can make as many trips as they like and for each trip, are allowed to ride for a certain amount of time either free or for a minimal charge.
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How will King County’s mandatory all-ages helmet requirement be addressed?

The business plan includes costs to provide helmet vending machines as part of the station design.
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What is the relationship between Puget Sound Bike Share, the City of Seattle, King County and the operator/vendor?
Puget Sound Bike Share, a non-profit organization, will own and administer the program. The City of Seattle & King County will provide in-kind support.
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Does King County have the infrastructure necessary for a successful bike share system?
There is limited data to determine whether a dense network of bikeways is necessary for successful bike sharing. However, North American cities, some of which have similar bikeway infrastructure to King County have, to date, experienced ridership exceeding projections, recorded no fatalities and very few injury crashes. The style and speed of riding is more conducive to safe riding and the increased number of bikes on the streets introduces a “safety in numbers” effect with drivers more aware of bicyclists.
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What about hills?
The system will be designed to encourage routes with easier grades and the bikes will have more gears than bikes in other cities (seven gears rather than three).
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