The Seattle City Council is going to decide whether the city’s bike-share program is worth a $1.4 million bailout.
Pronto, the nonprofit program with 54 stations in the city, isn’t pulling in enough money to be sustainable. In Pronto’s first year, each station brought in an average of $30 a day in revenue, The Seattle Times reports.
There is some surprise that the bike-share program isn’t doing well, KIRO Radio’s Tom Tangney says. Tagney questions if it was done correctly or if it was being hindered by the city’s geography and weather.
John Curley: People don’t want to ride the bike up the hill in the rain. They don’t want to ride the bike in the rain at all. They don’t want to ride the bike when it’s cold out. If you already ride bikes in the rain, you own a bike and ride a bike. But for you to pay $8 to get on a bike and ride around on the streets uphill in the rain, it ain’t going to happen.
They should just let this die a natural death as opposed to taking $1.4 million that could turn into $3 million, because once you put it on the life-support system of the taxpayer it can grow and grow and grow.
Tom Tangney: When a liberal like (city council member) Mike O’Brien says wait a minute… if it’s not going to fly, there’s no point in putting more money into it.
The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat says maybe our image of bike friendly isn’t right. In addition to the hills, Westneat says the streets aren’t safe enough.
I like bike riding as much as the next guy. But it’s not worth it to me to weave through traffic. It’s not safe enough and that takes major investment.
Curley: That takes getting people out of their cars and expanding bike lanes.
Though data shows bike riding has actually dropped off slightly in the past year, Tangney says walking is on the rise.
Tangney: And I’m all for walking.
Curley: Yes, me too. It doesn’t cost you anything.