Puget Sound Bike Share Confirms Supply Chain Partners for Bike Share System Equipment

April 3, 2014 – In preparation for its 2014 launch, Puget Sound Bike Share announced today that it will be moving forward with world-class partners Alta Bicycle Share and 8D Technologies to provide bike share station hardware, software and operational solutions.

Alta Bicycle Share and 8D Technologies’ software for Seattle will build upon solutions tested and successfully deployed by bike share networks in Washington D.C. / Arlington, Boston, Minneapolis, Melbourne (AUS), London (UK), Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal (CAN).  Seattle’s will be the first program to launch with the new Alta/8D hardware solution.  Consistent with Puget Sound Bike Share’s plans to launch Phase I of the program in South Lake Union, Downtown, Capitol Hill and the U-District, the agreement includes delivery of 50 stations.

An order for 500 bikes will be placed with a well-known global manufacturer later this month.

“Over the last few months, we’ve been working closely with companies who will meet our standards for world-class hardware and brilliantly functional software.  We’re thrilled to work with innovative partners whose equipment and software has been road tested and proven to succeed around the world,” said Holly Houser, Puget Sound Bike Share Executive Director.

In addition to finalizing the hardware and software solutions, this spring Puget Sound Bike Share will make major announcements related to the official bike share system name, logo and web site, corporate sponsorships, and launch date for the network.

In May, Alta Bicycle Share and Puget Sound Bike Share will solicit feedback on station locations and other accessibility issues at a dozen neighborhood planning workshops.  To find out more about these community sessions, please sign up for the Puget Sound Bike Share e-newsletter at

For more information on Alta Bicycle Share and 8D Technologies, please visit

Seattle City Council: Unanimous Support for Bike Share

September 4, 2013 – Yesterday the Seattle City Council passed by unanimous vote two pieces of legislation essential for creating a local bike share network.  The ordinance C.B. 117847 approved bike share vending as an allowed use in public rights of way.  The resolution Res. 31468 granted Puget Sound Bike Share (PSBS) conceptual approval for their proposed bike sharing program.

A term permit ordinance related to the PBSB’s program is expected to go to City Council in early 2014.  Links to the legislation and a brief statement from Puget Sound Bike Share executive director Holly Houser are below.  Let us know if you have any questions.

“The support of the Seattle City Council is a key element to bike share’s success, and we’re grateful that they have embraced this new option for public transportation.  We still have work to do, both in signing up corporate sponsors and ensuring that the local laws work for bike share, but we can move much faster with the broad support of our community.  Thanks to their backing, bike share continues to be on track for a spring 2014 launch.”  - Holly Houser, executive director of Puget Sound Bike Share

8. Res. 31468
Granting conceptual approval for Puget Sound Bike Share to construct, maintain, and operate a bike-share program in public places located within Major Institution Overlay Districts, designated Urban Centers and Urban Villages, and commercially- or industrially-zoned parcels lying between these areas in the City of Seattle.

5. C.B. 117847
Relating to authorizing a bike share program to be implemented in public places; and amending Sections 11.23.440 and 15.17.005 of the Seattle Municipal Code.

Seattle Children’s makes $500,000 grant to Puget Sound Bike Share

July 22, 2013 – Seattle Children’s Hospital today announced a $500,000 grant to Puget Sound Bike Share. The grant will provide adult helmets at future bike-share stations in the Seattle area. Seattle Children’s is the first major Seattle-area employer to invest in the program, which has received $1.75 million in state and federal grants.

As part of the partnership, Children’s employees will receive memberships to the bike-sharing program. Puget Sound Bike Share will also operate two bike-share stations on Seattle Children’s main campus.

“We are dedicated to supporting a healthy workforce and helping our employees find commute alternatives,” said Lisa Brandenburg, president of Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Less than 40 percent of our employees drive to work alone. Bike sharing will be another great option our employees can use to get around the city.”

Puget Sound Bike Share is a nonprofit working with the support of local government agencies to bring a bike-sharing system to the Seattle area. The first phase of the program, scheduled to launch in spring 2014, will include 50 bike-share stations and 500 bikes near Seattle’s most popular urban destinations.

“Bike share will be a success in King County because of generous and visionary community partners like Seattle Children’s Hospital,” said Holly Houser, executive director of Puget Sound Bike Share.

The grant is part of Seattle Children’s overall commitment to providing sustainable alternate commute options for the Puget Sound region. As part of the hospital’s 20-year master plan, Seattle Children’s has already committed nearly $4 million for neighborhood transportation improvements, including a cycle track along Sand Point Way NE and a new connection between the Burke-Gilman Trail and Sand Point Way NE.

“Seattle’s bike-share network will help provide a new option for people to get around, supporting health, safety and vibrant communities,” said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. “This program is a partnership with the private sector, and we hope other institutions in our community will step forward to match Seattle Children’s investment.”

“As we know from other cities, bike share dramatically increases the number of people who ride and once someone tries bike share they tend to use it frequently for all kinds of short trips,” said City Council Transportation Chair Tom Rasmussen. “Studies have shown that even just a few short bike rides a week is enough to burn off an average of 11 pounds a year and reduce mortality rate by 39 percent. So, thank you, Seattle Children’s, for making Seattle a healthier place to live.”

For more information on Puget Sound Bike Share, visit

City receives $1M grant, bike share launch now 50% funded

May 24, 2013 – Puget Sound Bike Share is now officially half way to the funding they need to launch Phase I, likely covering the University District, downtown, South Lake Union and some of Capitol Hill.

With a $750,000 state grant secured for launching the system in the University District, PSBS continues to search for both public and private funding sources. Passing the 50 percent mark should give the project the momentum it needs to launch in early 2014 as planned. One big sponsor can still step up to claim branding rights.

PSBS, a non-profit partnership between many government and private organizations, announced recently that they selected Alta to build and run the system.

Details on the recent grant, from SDOT:

The City of Seattle has been awarded a $1 million federal grant from the Puget Sound Regional Council to fund bike and helmet stations in South Lake Union and north downtown. Combined with a $750,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation, Puget Sound Bike Share and its partners at the City of Seattle and King County Metro have now secured $1.75 million in grant funds to fund approximately 30 stations. These stations will be part of the network’s Phase I roll-out in the rapidly growing University District, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill and downtown neighborhoods.

“Bike share stations will connect existing transit options and make it easier for employees, residents and visitors to rely on public transportation,” said Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Director Peter Hahn. “Thanks to the Puget Sound Regional Council, this grant moves us one step closer to fully launching a bike share program in Seattle.”

“Puget Sound Bike Share is incredibly grateful for the City’s diligence in pursuing these federal grant funds, and the Puget Sound Regional Council for awarding these funds. Now that we’ve reached our public funding goals, we’re offering local companies the unique opportunity to align themselves with an innovative program that promotes a healthy, sustainable form of transportation and offers significant brand exposure and media value,” added Holly Houser, Puget Sound Bike Share executive director.

The bike stations funded by the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant will connect employees, residents and visitors to some of the region’s most popular and densely linked destinations, including Lake Union Park, the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), REI, Group Health, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, UW Medical Center, Amazon, two Seattle Children’s worksites, the convention center and the downtown transit tunnel.

SDOT submitted the application in mid-2012. Puget Sound Bike Share board members and community members, King County Metro, REI, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Vulcan, the Downtown Seattle Association, Cascade Bicycle Club and the Bicycle Alliance of Washington assisted the grant application with letters of support.


Puget Sound Bike Share Selects Alta Bicycle Share as Operator/Vendor for Regional System

Phase I to Launch in Spring 2014

April 23, 2013 – Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations, announced today that it has selected Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share as its operator/vendor.  Alta will work with PSBS to plan, launch and sustain a regional bike share network beginning with approximately 500 bikes and 50 stations in Seattle and eventually expanding into other areas of the Puget Sound region.  One of the most experienced bike share companies in North America, Alta is the vendor/operator behind the highly successful Capital Bike Share in Washington D.C. and Boston’s Hubway. In the coming months, Alta will launch Citibike in New York City, the largest bike share network in the nation, as well as systems in Chicago, Vancouver, B.C., Portland and San Francisco.

Puget Sound Bike Share announced the selection of Alta in a posting on its Facebook page.  In the note, executive director Holly Houser wrote:

“We have been and continue to be impressed with Alta’s approach to bike share and their ability to partner with cities and successfully deliver location-specific systems.  Alta is able to address a number of the Seattle’s unique challenges, offering innovative solar technology, 7-speed bikes and an integrated helmet vending solution. Alta brings the experience and state of the art equipment to operate a bike share network that meets revenue goals and appeals to users with intuitive design and top notch service. 

Bike share systems in world class cities from Paris to London to Washington D.C. have become instantly iconic symbols of vibrant and progressive urban centers.  It’s our turn now.  Bike sharing belongs here.   

This is a huge milestone for us, and with state and federal grants pending, we are ready to actively pursue a title or presenting corporate sponsor. This is a rare and exceptional opportunity for a visionary partner to support and associate themselves with a transformative community-wide program.” 

Puget Sound Bike Share would not exist without support and guidance from local government leaders, including King County Metro, the City of Seattle, Sound Transit, the City of Kirkland, the City of Redmond, Puget Sound Regional Council, Washington Department of Transportation and supporters and advisers at University of Washington, Seattle Children’s, Cascade Bicycle Club, Microsoft and REI.

According to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, “Bike share provides residents and visitors with more transportation options. This is a solution for our region that will not only make it easier to get around and improve health, but based on what’s happened in other cities, permanently changes the way people experience their community. It’s a really exciting thing for Seattle. Our city is known for our natural beauty and great neighborhoods. Now people will have more options for get to both.”

“Bike sharing, like car sharing, will work to reduce the need for personal automobiles.” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Puget Sound Bike Share and Alta can give people more options to keep our urban areas moving in a cost-effective way.”

Puget Sound Bike Share will now enter into contract negotiations with Alta, with a goal beginning launch preparations in early summer.

Puget Sound Bike Share Kicks Off Search for Bike Share Operator/Vendor 

Issues “Request for Proposals” from qualified operator/vendors to develop, install, and operate a bike share network in King County

January 28, 2013 – Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations working to bring bike sharing to King County, has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) inviting qualified bike share operator/vendors to compete for business deploying and operating a bike share network in the Puget Sound area.  Identifying a bike share operator/vendor marks a major milestone for the progress of the nonprofit partnership.

Puget Sound Bike Share Executive Director Holly Houser explained the importance of the RFP by saying, “It’s thrilling to get to this point.  The $750,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation covers some of our Phase I launch, but we can’t deliver a complete program without the partnership of major players in our community.  With our operator/vendor in place we can begin making commitments on naming rights, station placement, and the other benefits to corporations, individuals or foundations that are interested in sponsoring bike share.”

Experienced bike share network operator/vendors can request instructions to download the RFP from  Puget Sound Bike Share will review proposals and make a final decision on a bike share operator/vendor in mid-March 2013.  The operator/vendor will develop, install, and operate the network with a target to launch Phase I in spring 2014.

Puget Sound Bike Share has been steadily growing and building support in the region.  In December, the Washington State Department of Transportation recommended that King County receive a $750,000 grant for the purchase and installation of stations in the University District neighborhood.  Puget Sound Bike Share has begun discussions with municipal leaders, developers, advocates and community planners on incorporating bike share stations into their designs and beginning a process for integrating stations to city streets.

“A few years ago a handful of community leaders began planning a bike share network in King County,” said Houser.  “They transformed an idea into a nonprofit organization that is now very close to making bike share a reality.  It is a testament to their dedication to proven innovations, and the enthusiasm of this community for healthy, low-impact transportation options that we are ready to take this step.  The members of our board and the community that supports them deserve our congratulations and gratitude for getting us this far.”


Puget Sound Bike Share One Step Closer to Launching with Washington State Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle Program Grant

Grant would help fund first phase of regional bike share system

December 17, 2012

Seattle, WA – The Washington State Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle Program has recommended that King County Metro Transit receive a grant of $750,000 to fund Puget Sound Bike Share’s initial construction of a regional bike share network.  The grant recommendation comes as Puget Sound Bike Share begins recruiting corporations, nonprofits, foundations and individuals to sign on as bike share sponsors.

“This grant recommendation comes at a critical time.  The grant would allow Puget Sound Bike Share to begin construction on a bike share network that will improve urban travel while fulfilling state health and safety goals,” said Puget Sound Bike Share executive director Holly Houser.  “The recommendation also sends a signal to other potential funders in the region that bike share is moving forward.  We appreciate the consideration of the Washington State Legislature and look to the larger Puget Sound community to join this effort to make our communities more vibrant and active with bike share.”

If approved by the Legislature in 2013, the grant will fund construction costs for approximately 12-15 bike share stations in the University District, a key target neighborhood for the Phase 1 launch of a regional bike sharing program.  Grant funding will be matched by in-kind donations from King County and the City of Seattle as well as in-kind and direct investment funds from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s.  Puget Sound Bike Share will rely on a combination of corporate sponsorships as well as federal, local and state grants to fund construction and implementation of the broader network.

“A bike share network is the sort of catalyst that can jumpstart a virtuous circle of activity and growth,” said Josh Kavanagh, Director of UW Transportation Services.  “At the University District level, just 37% of the employed population owns a car, compared to 84% citywide.  This makes our area, along with many other popular urban destinations, an excellent market base for an affordable, convenient, and safe new transportation option.  We are thrilled to have support from Washington State and local partners to launch bike share in our region.”

In early 2013, Puget Sound Bike Share expects to release a “Request for Proposals” for vendors qualified to operate a bike share network.

Link to Washington State Department of Transportation’s report to the Washington State Legislature:


Puget Sound Bike Share Hires its first Executive Director,
Adds REI to Board of Directors

Board Includes Microsoft, Seattle Children’s, University of Washington, Cascade Bicycle Club and Local Agencies

November 15, 2012

Seattle, WA – Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations working to bring bike sharing to King County, continues to build momentum for regional bike sharing by hiring its first executive director and adding an REI representative to its board of directors.

Puget Sound Bike Share’s new executive director Holly Houser will lead a private sector fundraising campaign, facilitate a “request for proposals” process with bike share vendor companies and collaborate with King County, the City of Seattle and others to receive federal, state and other grant funds for bike sharing.

“We need major sponsors to make bike sharing a reality in our region,” said Ref Lindmark, president of the Puget Sound Bike Share Board. “Holly will help us channel interest in bike sharing and enthusiasm for improving communities into lasting partnerships that will launch and sustain the program.”

A native of Seattle, Ms. Houser has a strong background in project organization and management, as well as community relations. Most recently, she served as Director of Operations for a local real estate development firm and in 2008, co-founded Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building positive self-esteem in girls and encouraging creative expression through music. Ms. Houser said, “Bike sharing is a flexible alternative for connecting people to work, school, retail, transportation hubs and entertainment destinations. It’s a great fit for our region and I’m thrilled to work with local companies, community groups, and supporters to bring bike sharing to our region.”

The Puget Sound Bike Share also expanded its board of directors to add local outdoor retailer and bike sharing supporter, REI. Upon joining the board of directors, Kara Stone, REI flagship Seattle store general manager said, “PSBS provides a much needed network that connects people to the places they want to be via a carbon free mode of transportation. This program is an ideal blend of environmental stewardship, public health, community building and just plain efficient design.”

Follow Puget Sound Bike Share on Twitter @PSBikeShare, Facebook or visit


Puget Sound Bike Share Seeks Executive Director

Assignments to include private sector fundraising and recruiting a bike share vendor partner for the region

August 1, 2012

Seattle, WA – The Puget Sound Bike Share, a nonprofit partnership of public and private organizations working to bring bike sharing to King County, is accepting applications for the position of executive director.  Immediate assignments for the executive director will include leading a private sector fundraising campaign and facilitating a “request for proposals” process with bike share vendor companies.  For a full job description and to submit an application, please visit

Bike sharing is an increasingly popular and flexible service that extends the reach of public transportation and makes urban trips faster and more convenient.  According to a June 2012 report by the Minetta Transportation Institute, as of January 2012 there were 15 technology-supported bike sharing operators in the U.S., claiming 172,070 users and sharing 5,238 bicycles.  Cities of all sizes and geographic diversity, including Minneapolis, Charlotte, Kansas City, Boston, Denver, Boulder, Chattanooga, San Antonio, Houston, and Anaheim have added bike sharing to their regional transportation options.

A Minetta Transportation Institute survey of bike share users in four cities found that the majority of riders use bike share to travel to school or work.  The second and third most common reasons for bike share trips are for entertainment or social purposes, and running errands.

In a January 2012 business plan prepared for the Puget Sound Bike Share, analysts determined that the region’s culture, its growing need for urban transportation options, and the desire for a vibrant, connected community indicated that bike share could be a transformative and successful addition to the region’s transportation options.

The business plan identified preliminary options for placement of bike kiosks, a schedule for rolling out various phases, potential pricing, and strategies for successful operation in the region.  The final deployment of the bike share kiosks and bikes will follow a collaborative process with the community, the bike share vendor and Puget Sound Bike Share.
Bike share programs are typically funded through a mix of private sector sponsorships, membership fees paid by users, and public sector grants.  Significant assignments for the Puget Sound Bike Share executive director will be to secure private sector sponsorships and to collaborate with King County, the City of Seattle and others to receive federal, state and other grant funds to bring bike sharing to our region.

Other Resources

Public bike sharing has progressed from the early programs in Europe to the Portland Yellow Bikes in 1994. These programs were very popular; however, they turned out to be unsustainable due to  theft and vandalism. In the last few years, bike share programs using technology and creative marketing have flourished, and with the advent of the Velib bike share program in Paris, bike sharing is now embarking on rapid expansion.

Some of the more well known programs include:

New programs are currently being planned or launched in New York City, Chicago, the San Francisco area, and Portland.

Our  colleagues in Portland have recently compiled a nice chart that lists current and planned programs in North America. We hope to addSeattleto the list with our current effort.

The best place to keep up on world wide bike sharing is the Bike Share Blog

The National Center for Transit Research in partnership with the Center Urban Transportation Research at the Universityof South Floridarecently hosted a webinar with Susan Sheehan and Darren Buck. Their reports provide both background as well as future thoughts on how bike share will be integrated into our urban transit systems in the future.

Wikipedia has a good entry on bike sharing:

Streetfilms did a nice piece on the Hangzhou bike share system with over 50,000 bikes

The Biggest, Baddest Bike-Share in the World: Hangzhou China from Streetfilms on Vimeo.

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