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Mobike posts Seattle job openings—but has no plans for a local launch

SDOT isn’t accepting any new vendors until the program becomes official, anyway

A row of Mobikes in Berlin.
Xinhua/Shan Yuqi via Getty Images

After Seattle’s groundbreaking private bike-share pilot, cycle-minded Seattleites have their eyes out for new companies that might be planning a launch. While a series of Seattle job openings posted to Linkedin over the last couple of weeks—including one for a “city launcher”—might imply that Beijing-based bike-share company Mobike has its sights on the city, a company spokesperson said there are no immediate plans for a local rollout.

“We have no immediate plans for Seattle,” a Mobike spokesperson told us over email, “but are always looking to grow our team with the best people.”

The postings—at least for now—are an attempt to recruit remote-working talent in Seattle, although it certainly seems like it’d be helpful to have people on the ground if the company does plan a Seattle effort.

Even if Mobike did have Seattle on the brain, the program that governs private bike-share companies operating in the city is in a bit of a limbo period. The pilot officially ended in December, and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is currently compiling data and revising regulations. A report will be given to the CIty Council this spring.

SDOT spokesperson Norm Mah told us that they “appreciate Mobike’s eagerness,” but nobody gets a new permit “until the Mayor and City Council have reviewed and/or approved an ongoing permitting program for the city.”

Existing vendors have a one-year contract and are operating under the pilot’s rules until the program becomes permanent.

Out of the three bike-share companies that got in before the pilot ended, one other is a Beijing-based company: Ofo. Another, Bluegogo, had been eyeing the city, but ultimately scaled back expansion plans. The two others that operate in Seattle, Limebike and Spin, are California-based.