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Mayor Murray dumps Seattle’s bike share program

The City of Seattle will dump Pronto bike share, according to KING 5. (AP)

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced Friday afternoon that the city will no longer be in the bike share business. The last day of service is slated for March 31.

Critics aren’t shocked.

Mayor Murray will reallocate the $3 million budget for the 2017 re-launch of the bike share program to extend bike lanes on Fourth Avenue, improve the East-West bike networks, and push the Safe Routes to School campaign.

“This shift in funding priorities allows us to make critical bicycle and pedestrian improvements—especially for students walking and biking to school,” said Mayor Murray. “While I remain optimistic about the future of bike share in Seattle, today we are focusing on a set of existing projects that will help build a safe, world-class bicycle and pedestrian network.”

The Seattle Department of Transportation planned to continue the service with an all-electric fleet later this year, but councilmembers Tim Burgess and Lisa Herbold question the move, KING 5 reports.

Electric bike share

In September, the city of Seattle chose Bewegen, a Canada-based company, to replace the Pronto fleet, which the city bailed out earlier in the year for $1.4 million. SDOT’s Transportation and Mobility director, Andrew Glass Hastings told KIRO 7 the city would try to sell the equipment it purchased, which includes about 500 bikes and about 50 docking stations to a college or large corporation.

KIRO 7 reports the new electric-assist fleet would cost another $5 million.

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