Dori: Pronto! bailout is perfect example of Seattle’s ‘fake liberalism’

Mar 15, 2016, 4:08 PM | Updated: Mar 16, 2016, 9:19 am

Though the city will take over the Pronto bike share program they will no longer be subsidizing the...

Though the city will take over the Pronto bike share program they will no longer be subsidizing the Greenwood Food Bank. (AP)


It’s not only the $1.4 million the City of Seattle has agreed to use to bail out the Pronto! bike-share system that annoys KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. Nor is it the millions of additional dollars needed for future expansion. What really riles Dori is that city officials are backing a failed system rather than continuing to fund a cheaper, and more impactful, program that has been working for 25 years.

Related: Why Seattle’s council is spending millions on a bike share program

Dori called the city’s Pronto bailout on Monday a perfect example of “fake liberalism” from local politicians who claim to be looking out for the poor but are in fact attempting to “lift up themselves financially or enrich people who will be able to further fund their political climb up the ladder.”

While $1.4 million goes to Pronto, the city decided last year it could no longer subsidize the Greenwood Food Bank, which will close March 31 after 25 years of service. The Seattle Times reports that the city cut the food bank’s $53,000 in annual subsidies as part of a new competitive bidding process, which ranks food banks on a series of criteria to determine if grants are being used efficiently.

The food bank “has served the Greenwood community, a community that was devastated by that building explosion last week, that’s had more than its fair share of hardships lately,” Dori said.

Dori argues that Pronto! will likely need another $5 million in 2017, plus operating costs of approximately $2 million each year and it hasn’t come close to reaching its initial ridership projections.

“So we will spend millions of dollars for a failed bicycle rental system that couldn’t possibly survive in the private marketplace because it doesn’t have any users,” he said. “Does this sound like a company that you’d want to invest in? If you were playing the stock market and you saw a company that couldn’t possibly survive, that had less than one-third the projected number of users, that was bleeding red ink &#8212 is that the type of company you would want to invest in? Because if you’re a Seattle taxpayer that’s where you just invested your money.”

Dori also alleged there are connections between city officials and private bike-share companies and bike advocacy groups, which he believes is more than a little fishy.

“The Greenwood food bank, sorry, nothing for you, the cupboard is bare. Bike share executives making a million dollars a year, yeah, we’ll figure out a way to fleece the taxpayers out of millions more for you guys,” he said. “It’s all about climbing the ladder for these guys. It is as big a scam as I have ever seen.”

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Dori: Pronto! bailout is perfect example of Seattle’s ‘fake liberalism’