A Libertarian changed his mind about using a Seattle bike share
John Curley has been critical of any bike share in Seattle. So how is it possible that he could change his mind about something he has called “socialist” in the past?
“Then I realized that I’m supporting private enterprise,” Curley said. “The other one (Pronto!) I was forced to participate in it by having my tax dollars support it. I wasn’t given a choice whether or not I wanted to get on the bike. The government just said, ‘Hey, we think this is a good idea. We are going to pour money into this failure.’”
Seattle’s previous failed bike share, Pronto!, was largely publicly funded. The city even bought it out for $1.4 million before shutting it down. But the bike share companies currently setting up shop in Seattle are quite different than the Pronto system. First of all, as Curley points out, they are private companies competing to become Seattle’s main bike share (SDOT will make some money off of them, however). They also don’t use stations. You drop them off wherever you are.
In Curley’s case, he picked up a Limebike from Eastlake near the KIRO Radio studios and rode it down to Safeco Field to watch a Mariners game — avoiding traffic and parking.
“I got there in plenty of time; soon enough to see the first batter, get the second pitch and hit a home run against the M’s,” Curley said.
“Overall, it was terrific,” he said. “One dollar was all I got charged. It was fast, easy, and efficient. I didn’t wear a helmet; made you feel a little bit like an outlaw, especially as I rode past a bunch of cops without a helmet.”
While he found it convenient and cheap to use, there are some drawbacks.
“I will do it again in the future, but you will never win the Tour de France on one of these things,” Curley said. “They are clunky and slow. At first, I felt really embarrassed to be on it. Because you got the big basket and you look like the Wicked Witch of the West. It’s just not something you want to see yourself on. I passed by a plate glass window and watched myself on it — not the best look.”
- Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for The Tom and Curley Show.