Report: Yet another bikeshare is targeting Seattle

May 22, 2017, 2:30 PM | Updated: 7:56 pm

Seattle is about to experience a bike share bonanza with a third startup eyeing the Emerald City.

RELATED: Why Spin says its bike share will work in the wake of Pronto

Limebike is joining the race in Seattle, according to the Seattle Bike Blog. It is similar to the other bike shares aiming to get into the Seattle market — Bluegogo and Spin. With Limebike, you can ride for a dollar and the system operates like Car2Go. The startup, based out of San Mateo, Calif, has raised about $12 million to take its bike share “nationwide.”

Unlike the two other potential bike shares, Limebike stresses the term “cities and campuses” across its website, implying that campus-specific systems could be a part of its model. Seattle is home to a variety of colleges, including the University of Washington’s 703 acres, Seattle University’s 50 acres, and Seattle Pacific University’s 43 acres.

The bike blog points out that Limebike’s director of strategic development is Gabriel Scheer, a founding member of Pronto, the bike-share program that shut down at the end of March. Sheer’s resume boasts a history in sales and business development, including work at the car-share company Zipcar.

Limebike and Seattle

Bluegogo, a startup from China, is expected to launch thousands of bikes in Seattle. San Francisco-based Spin bike share is also gearing up to unload its bikes in town. Spin is already greasing the gears of the local biking community by donating money to cycling organizations. News of the three bike shares coming to town hit within a month of each other.

The lingering question is if Seattle can create the proper paperwork for the bike shares. There is currently no permitting system in place for what Limebike, and the others, want to do.

A Seattle Department of Transportation spokesperson would not provide many details on the city’s plans for a new bike-share permitting system, and would only say that the city is in the process of developing a policy. The bike blog, however, reports that rules for the companies could be available by June — likely a pilot program. The Seattle Weekly further reports that council members Rob Johnson and Mike O’Brien are working on legislation to allow the bike shares in Seattle. O’Brien told the Seattle Weekly that the rush of bikes into Seattle is “a cool problem to have.”

Unlike Seattle’s failed Pronto bike share, the three startups use a different model. The bikes do not use docks. Instead, riders use a smartphone to locate the nearest bike to them. They then scan the bike with their phone, the bike unlocks, and they ride for about a dollar. When they are done, riders park the bike at a suitable location, lock the wheel and walk away.

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Report: Yet another bikeshare is targeting Seattle