Two companies racing to become next Seattle bikeshare

May 5, 2017, 1:09 PM | Updated: 1:09 pm

Seattle bikeshare...

A Bluegogo bike in Beijing, China. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Despite the demise of the Seattle bikeshare Pronto, other companies are putting their efforts into high gear to get their bike service into town.

RELATED: Analyst argues that car ownership in Seattle will be obsolete in 15 years

The Seattle Bike Blog reports that two out-of-town, private companies have set their sights on the Emerald City. The companies operate quite differently than the old Seattle bikeshare system did and come at a much different price.

Spin: Spin is a newer, San Francisco-based bikeshare company that launched in 2017 with 100,000 bikes. The team that manages the bikeshare includes people who came from Lyft and other successful tech companies. It’s currently operating a system in Austin, Texas. A ride on a Spin bike is a flat 99 cent rate.

Bluegogo: Bluegogo is already a successful bikeshare company in China. It is looking to expand into the United States, according to the bike blog that just took one of its bikes out for a test ride. Reporter Tom Fucoloro reports that the bikes are lighter than the Pronto version, but hills can still be an issue. A trip on a Bluegogo bike costs 99 cents per 30 minutes.

A different kind of Seattle bikeshare

The smartphone rideshare model seems to be the winning method of transportation these days — not just for cars. Both Spin and Bluegogo operate like automotive rideshare services already in Seattle, such as Zipcar, Reach Now or Car2Go.

Unlike Pronto, the two companies operate their systems without docks. Riders use a bike within a service area and leave it where they end their trip. The next rider picks the bike up there and moves along. Both Spin and Bluegogo require customers to use a smartphone app that will locate the nearest bike. Users then walk to the bike, unlock it with their phone, and ride away.

It is not yet known when the companies plan to set up shop in Seattle. The Bike Blog reports, however, that both want to ride into town as soon as possible — most likely when summer weather hits. But there could be one speed bump — permits. Seattle doesn’t really have a permit system set up for this kind of business, the Bike Blog reports.

Seattle had attempted to run its own bikeshare system, Pronto, over the past couple of years. The Seattle bikeshare was initially run by a nonprofit, with the city’s help. But Pronto wasn’t run well as a business and the city ended up bailing it out — ultimately buying it, then scrapping it altogether. Pronto stopped service in Seattle in March.

Meanwhile, bikeshares are a growing transportation option throughout the country. Portland started up its own bikeshare system last year with the help of Nike and has touted initial success. Eastside communities have also started looking into bikeshares, as well.

Local News

Montlake SR 520 closed...

Nate Connors

Montlake Boulevard SR 520 on-ramps, exits closed this weekend

SR 520 will not be accessible via Montlake Boulevard over the weekend, as both on and off-ramp access will be closed.

15 hours ago

Nordstrom patagonia lawsuit...

Bill Kaczaraba

Patagonia accuses Nordstrom of selling fake merch, files lawsuit

Patagonia is accusing Nordstrom of selling fake merchandise and has filed a lawsuit against the Seattle-based department store chain.

15 hours ago

King County Regional Homelessness Authority KCRHA 5-year plan...

L.B. Gilbert

KCRHA approves 5-year plan to address homelessness

The King County Regional Homeless Authority (KCRHA) unanimously voted Thursday to approve its new 5-year plan, which includes $250M for 2024.

15 hours ago

Don Bonker...

Bill Kaczaraba

Former Congressman Don Bonker remembered as a ‘peacemaker’

Known as a "peacemaker," former U.S. Representative Don Bonker, who represented Washington’s 3rd District from 1975-89, has died.

15 hours ago

queen anne road...

L.B. Gilbert

Utility company damages Queen Anne Ave, partially closing road

A private utility crew damaged a tunnel under a busy block of Queen Anne Avenue, and the road is partially shut down.

15 hours ago

muti-day fire lacey mushroom...

L.B. Gilbert

12-year-old arrested in connection to fire at Lacey mushroom farm

Lacey firefighters are looking at a multi-day fight against a fire that broke out Wednesday at an abandoned mushroom farm.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

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.

Two companies racing to become next Seattle bikeshare