Pronto: 2014 Data Release

I sit atop a Pronto Bike  at UW's arena with Dubs, their mascot, enjoying the attention.

I sit atop a Pronto Bike at UW’s arena while Dubs, UW’s live mascot, enjoys the attention.

Well, Pronto has been around since October 13th – Tuesday was the three month mark. So how are things going? Pronto recently released some trip and membership data for 2014. The highlights from their Tumblr:

  • 5,485 System Users: We had 1,984 annual members sign on along with 3,501 casual users of the system (those who purchased a 24 hour or 3 day pass).
  • 21,026 Total Trips Taken: Averaged out, we’ve had 262 trips per day.
  • 34,931 lbs. of CO2 Reduced: 1,778 gallons of gasoline would emit that same amount of carbon dioxide.
  • 43,010 Total Miles Clocked: We totally made it around the world in 80 days. In fact, we circled the globe 1.72 times. In 80 days. Bam!
  • 1,677,390 Calories Burned: 11,981 cans of cola have the same amount of calories.

Also, check out Seattle Bike Blog’s commentary and keep an eye out for upcoming events and challenges for Pronto Members. The prize for January’s rider challenger is a $100 gift certificate!

Pronto One Month Update; Bikeshare is a ‘Gateway Drug’

Pronto general manager Demi Allen and SDOT director Scott Kubly lead the inaugural Pronto Ride along 2nd Avenue’s new protected bike lane. – SeattlePi

We are officially one month and over 10,000 rides into a Seattle filled with bikeshare thanks to Pronto Cycle Share, the new system introduced to Seattle on October 13th. The system is operated by Alta Bicycle Share, the same company that operates similar systems in D.C., New York, Boston, Chicago, and more. Bikeshare is a relatively new concept in the United States but with over 50 systems across the country, including those on major university campuses, bikeshare is becoming a standard for sustainable mobility. The global community has already embraced bikeshare, with over 600 systems around the world. So, what does Pronto mean for Seattle? Continue reading

Bike Share is Coming to Seattle!

A Pronto Cycle Share prototype in front of a dodgeball court at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill.

A Pronto Cycle Share prototype in front of a dodgeball court at Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill.

Pronto Cycle Share is less than two months away and I could not be more excited for its September launch! I’ve had the luxury of riding the bike on a few occasions and I must say cruising up to Capitol Hill from Downtown is not at all the difficult journey I expected. Whereas most bike share systems’ designs are heavier than average bikes and use only 3 gears, Pronto is lighter than other bike share bikes and has an internal 7-speed hub! Talk about prepared for Seattle! Rather than walk you through the whole bike again, check out this blog post from the Seattle Bike Blog about how Pronto rides. I couldn’t agree more!

Women, Bike Shares, and Weekends

In the United States, women tend to ride bicycles less than men. Fact.

Over and over the research shows that women ride less often than men. Many studies cite safety and comfort riding with traffic as two large contributors to this trend and so infrastructure and policy are implicated as solutions. A recent article on BuzzFeed examines  data from bikeshares in New York, Chicago, and Boston. It finds that the number of trips women take hike on Saturdays and Sunday. While causation is out of the question, there is a theory: women link together destinations during their trips. On a workday this might mean work, groceries, picking up children, gym, etc. Are women choosing not to use bike shares during the week because time limits and cargo issues limit convenience?

Seattle Bike Share Unveiled: Pronto!

 

2014.05.06 Bikeshare bike

This afternoon Puget Sound Bike Share officially announced the new bike share program coming to the Seattle area this summer. Named Pronto!, this new service is set to hit the streets starting late summer and service Downtown Seattle, Belltown, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, Eastlake, and the University District. Pronto! will be in large part funded by local aviation company Alaska Airlines, which has agree to a $2.5 million sponsorship to support the project in addition to $1 million from the federal government, $750,000 from WSDOT,

I am excited for the project and I sincerely hope the bike share helps spur the development of the “all ages and abilities” cycling that SDOT highlights in its new Bicycle Master Plan (passed in April). However, I have concerns:

  • How will safety and ridership be affected by the incomplete bicycle infrastructure?
  • Will the system and network help Seattleites with the common complaint: I am not comfortable riding in traffic?
  • Hills and rain. Either you deal with them or you don’t – will new cyclists be willing to brave the elements?
  • How will helmets be utilized by annual members? $2 is a lot for a member who also has her own bike and helmet. Will this lead to users neglecting to wear a helmet for these rides despite wearing helmets when riding their personal bike?
  • How deep does the funding go? Bikeshare systems are notorious for needing additional funding and the recent Metro transit funding failure may signal serious financial problems in Pronto!’s future if it should need continued public support.

I’ll be honest: as a cyclist with a passion for sustainable transportation I will be among the first subscribers to the annual membership – more out of support than necessity. I want to see this system succeed and I hope for positive effects to seep into the larger transportation systems and culture of the city. Plus, the added convenience of a bikeshare will be welcome for times I find myself without my bike or when I need a one-way trip. Still, I have my doubts. Is Seattle really ready for this?