Getting around by bike could get even easier in a five years when the newly formed nonprofit Puget Sound Bike Share plans to bring bike-sharing stations to Bellevue. The group's initial proposal calls for 15 stations in Bellevue, each with about 10 bicycles.
Bike sharing is a short-term rental system that has already been implemented in several European and U.S. cities, including Denver, Minneapolis, New York and Washington, D.C. Most programs include several unattended stations scattered throughout a given area, enabling riders to travel between various destinations without having to return the bikes to the same location.
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Puget Sound Bike Share, which will serve as the non-profit administrative organization behind the system, plans to begin opening rental stations in the city of Seattle sometime next year. (Click here to see PDF of entire business plan.) Phase 3 of the program would include both Bellevue, downtown Redmond and the Microsoft campus, as well as Kirkland and Renton, and is tentatively scheduled to roll out in 2017.
Nuts and bolts
Most bike share systems use a pricing system that offers 24-hour passes for $10-$15, as well as monthly and annual membership options. Many also have a "free ride" period of 30 to 60 minutes. The proposed rate for Puget Sound Bike Share is $5 for a 24-hour pass, $30 for a monthly membership, and $75 for an annual membership, according to the organization's business plan.
Some potential issues—including how to comply with King County's helmet law—are still being worked out by Puget Sound Bike Share. But Joel Pfundt, on the Puget Sound Bike Share boad of directors, said the local system will be able to benefit from technology that has already been developed to solve other problems, such as how to notify the vendor when there is a problem with one of the bicycles.
"They really have made them pretty elaborate and pretty cool," said Pfundt, also a principal planner with the City of Redmond.