To Give People More Options for Getting Around Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan and City of Seattle Launch Free-Floating Bike Share Plan

Earlier This Year, Mayor Durkan Directed SDOT to Put Forward a Recommendation to the City Council for Adoption of An Annually Renewable Bike Share Permitting Program with More Parking, Bike Racks, and Reporting Tools

Seattle (November 19, 2018) – At Mayor Jenny A. Durkan’s direction, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has officially launched its ongoing free-floating bike share program after a successful permit pilot program. SDOT has issued a permit to JUMP, one of three vendors who are approved to operate their free-floating bike share programs in Seattle. SDOT anticipates issuing permits to Lime and Lyft in the coming weeks, giving Seattle residents and visitors additional options for getting around Seattle and accessing transit hubs. Those vendors will pay a total of approximately $1,000,000 to the City of Seattle for their annual permits in 2018-2019.

Under the new permits, each vendor is permitted 6,666 bikes, which could ramp up to nearly 20,000 available bikes by Spring 2019. With their full fleet sizes, vendors are required to make bikes available throughout Seattle and will also focus on areas around transit hubs.

“As public and private megaprojects squeeze Seattle’s streets, we must act urgently to increase mobility and give residents and visitors more options for getting around Seattle and to and from transit,” said Mayor Durkan. “As we enter this new era of tough traffic and this new phase of bike share in Seattle, we’ll be doing more to ensure bikes are parked in designated areas, and that access is more equitable across Seattle, especially for our neighbors with lower incomes in underserved communities. We’ll also continue building a city with fewer single-occupancy vehicles downtown, more access to reliable and affordable transit, and safer bike and pedestrian corridors.”

In July, at Mayor Durkan’s direction, SDOT recommended to the City Council that it adopt an annually renewable permit program, which was approved on July 30.

Building on the success and analysis of the initial free-floating bike share pilot program in Seattle, the new annually renewable bike share program reflects four key improvements, including:

  1. A designated parking area program;
  2. Centralized reporting tools to ensure bikes aren’t blocking the right-of-way like sidewalks and bus stops;
  3. More focus on equity and affordability; and,
  4. Fair payments by bike share companies to support the program and increase mobility.

During the bike share pilot phase, free-floating bike share provided over two million rides. During peak summer months like July, riders took more than 9,000 rides. Most people surveyed about using bike share services used them before or after riding public transportation to get to their final destinations.

Visit our resources online to learn more on Seattle’s free-floating bike share programs.