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Yet another bikeshare company could be riding into Seattle

Seattle experiments with bikeshare parking stalls in Ballard. (SDOT)

If another bikeshare company was introduced to Seattle, it would make four operators offering brightly-colored bikes. Only one, Limebike, has launched eBikes in town, so far.

RELATED: Bellevue bikeshare pilot only allows electric bikes

At the Bellevue City Council’s study session Monday, officials discussed how the Eastside city will manage its own bikeshare pilot, exclusively for eBikes. That’s when a hint was dropped about Seattle’s future. Council members wanted to know how much it cost to ride a bikeshare in Seattle.

“The only operator presently in Seattle with eBikes charges $1 per ride plus 15 cents per minute riding,” said Andreas Piller with the Bellevue Department of Transportation. “There are other eBike operators nationally – one of which is expected to launch in Seattle this year — that charges $2 per ride, flat rate.”

Another bikeshare in Seattle? Offering eBikes? It was a passing comment, but it seems that Seattle could see another bikeshare company in town.

eBikes in Seattle

Limebike currently operates its Lime-E model in Seattle. SPIN — another operator in town — has an electric model, but has only placed its eBikes in Miami and a couple college campuses. SPIN could bring its electric model to the Emerald City, however, early reports indicate the company charges $1.50 per 15 minutes for the powered ride — not the $2 flat fee mentioned in Bellevue.

The Wall Street Journal reports there is a Brooklyn-based startup known for charging $2 — Jump. It is the only bikeshare charging $2 and exclusively offers eBikes. There is no official word, however, that Jump is coming to Seattle. SDOT will not accept any new operators until the city establishes a permanent bikeshare permit, according to spokesperson Norm Mah. Seattle is still operating under its pilot program that began last summer.

The company has launched its bright-red bikes in San Francisco and Washington DC. Despite being a startup, Jump now has the backing of Uber, allowing customers to use the Uber app to rent Jump bikes.

Aside from a few mechanical differences, Jump operates similar to the other bikeshares in Seattle. Customers use an app to unlock the bike. They lock it when they are done, and hopefully park it correctly.

If Jump chooses to expand into Seattle, there would be four bikeshare companies operating in town — two with eBikes.

 

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