The City of Seattle’s new bike share license has been open to applicants for a week, and so far two companies are in the running, reports Seattle Bike Blog: Limebike and Spin.
Both companies have been carefully plotting their Seattle rollout for quite some time. Limebike’s specs are being tailored specifically to Seattle’s terrain, with a low weight and gentle gear ratio. Spin launched their Spin Cities program, which invests in Seattle bike safety and infrastructure, back in late May with a $10,000 donation to Bike Works.
Spin initially told us they were hoping to launch by today, July 7, although it remains to be seen whether they’ll hit that target. They have 500 bikes in storage in the city; they’re just waiting for the green light from Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).
Limebike says they’re aiming for mid-to-late July, which, regardless, is coming up fast. Building up to their launch, they’ve also started partnering with local tech companies to provide employee perks.
Another bike-share company, Koloni Share, tells us they plan to file their paperwork next week.
While Chinese company Bluegogo was among the early companies eying Seattle, a source recently let us know that those plans are on hold as the company reassesses their American expansion.
Other company we’ve heard might be coming to town, Texas-based Vbikes, have not immediately responded to a request for an update.
SDOT announced the pilot program that will allow bike shares, including dockless bike shares, to operate in Seattle last week. The pilot, which will take roughly six months, will determine how bike-share programs can operate long term.
After companies turn in their applications, SDOT has to check over the paperwork and make sure everything’s in order, including some insurance requirements. It’s unclear how long it’ll be until the bike-share operations are good to go.
- Spin and LimeBike are first to apply for bike share permits, ready to launch once approved [CS]
- Seattle’s dockless bike shares: a guide to the bikes about to take over the city [CS]
- City of Seattle rolls out rules for private bike shares [CS]
- LimeBike's partnering with WeWork, Zulily and Galvanize on employee perks [PSBJ]