LOCAL NEWS

Bellevue launches all electric bikeshare program

Aug 2, 2018, 7:53 AM | Updated: 1:37 pm
bellevue bikeshare...
Lime E bikes parked in a bikeshare parking stall in Bellevue. (City of Bellevue)
(City of Bellevue)

Bikeshare company Lime started in Seattle one year ago, and has slowly expanded toward the Eastside through Bothell, Mercer Island, and now — Bellevue.

“If you want to start a trip in Bellevue and ride the 520 bridge across the lake to Seattle, you are welcome and encouraged to do so, and vice versa,” said Andreas Piller with the City of Bellevue’s transportation department.

Lime launched in Bellevue on July 31. Despite extending the application period and notifying other bikeshare companies, Lime (formerly called Limebike) was the only company to apply in Bellevue.

“In just one year, Seattleites have embraced Lime by taking over 1 million rides, prompting the team to look at expansion opportunities,” said Lime’s Seattle-area General Manager Isaac Gross. “Bellevue asked us to apply for their pilot program, and after speaking with the city we agreed to partner on an exclusive one-year pilot using e-bikes.”

RELATED: Seattle opens up to scooters and more

“Lime will initially manage Bellevue operations from Seattle, but plans to open an Eastside operations center within the next three months,” he said. “We have discussed this issue with both cities with the understanding that some people will ride bikes across the bridge. Ultimately, both cities are comfortable with different bikes from different cities moving back and forth since the bikes increase mobility options for their residents.”

Lime says it plans to bring its bikeshare services to additional Eastside communities in the near future.

Bellevue bikeshare pilot

Just like Seattle’s bikeshare program, Bellevue’s features stationless bikes — you pick them up and drop them off almost anywhere. Unlike Seattle, Bellevue’s program only allows electric bikes.

Lime launched 50 e-bikes in Bellevue. It will add up to 100 by the end of the week. The company will be allowed to operate 400 in Bellevue during a trial period. If Lime can demonstrate it can comply with Bellevue’s rules (distribution, all-electric, preferred parking) then it will be allowed to add 100 more bikes every four consecutive weeks. Piller estimates that the company could add up to 1,200 bikes by July 2019.

“We wanted to make bikeshare an accessible transportation option to the widest variety of people that we could,” Piller said of the all-electric bikeshare program. “And recognizing that we have some significant hills in Bellevue, it may be challenging for many folks to ride a standard pedal bikeshare bike up some of those hills.”

“As the fleet grows, if the fleet grows, we will be considering when and how many pedal bikes to allow to be introduced during the pilot period as well,” he said.

RELATED: King County helmet law is unevenly enforced

Bellevue requires Lime to “rebalance” its bikes each night – distributing them to the city’s service centers. It’s among a handful of rules for the bikeshare company. The city will further look areas where bikeshare rides could be prohibited. Bellevue is also implementing a bikeshare parking program from the start — shaded boxes and other areas to indicate where to park the bikes.

“We have permit conditions that establish where you are legally allowed to leave the bikes — on pavement, out of the way so it is not blocking walkways, travel lanes, loading zones, bus stops … ” Piller said. “The intent of the preferred parking areas, bike hubs, these are places where we would like to see people parking their bikes if it’s nearby and convenient to them … Lime will be implementing certain incentives and reward systems for people who do leave their bikes in these locations.”

“The other thing we are doing, that is not available at this point but coming soon, is designating city parks as no-parking areas … so if a user tries to park a bikeshare bicycle inside the park boundaries … you will not be able to lock the bicycle and end your trip. It will continue charging you until you remove the bike from the park.”

Prior to Limebike’s launch, local companies expressed support for the bikeshare plan; residents had mixed feelings, but many thought the idea sounded “awesome.”

Local News

Frasier...
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
16 hours ago
Capitol Hill shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Investigation underway after man shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

Police are investigating after a man was shot in the hip in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News and Bridget Chavez, KIRO 7 News

Redmond police using vehicle-mounted GPS tracking system to track down fleeing suspects

The Redmond Police Department started using StarChase Pursuit in January to safely pursue fleeing suspects.
2 days ago
...
Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Murder of Kent teacher calls attention to mental health crisis in Washington

A Tacoma mom stabbed and killed on Wednesday has been identified as 66-year-old Gail Gese, a teacher at Cedar Heights Middle School in Kent.
2 days ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
2 days ago
FILE - An Amazon company logo on the company's building in Schoenefeld near Berlin, Germany, March ...
Associated Press

Amazon violated labor law with delivery app

A Spanish court has ruled that Amazon broke labor laws by forcing more than 2,000 delivery drivers to use an app that the company controlled for scheduling work and payments and requiring them to use their own cars and cellphones on the job.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Bellevue launches all electric bikeshare program