Pronto Cycle Share Promoting Bike Share for All

Photo courtesy of PeopleForBikes.

Pronto Cycle Share, Seattle’s new bike share system, provides residents and tourists with a fast, convenient and affordable way to get around the city. With 50 stations, 500 bikes and plans for expansion, the system’s iconic green bikes have quickly become synonymous with transportation and urban accessibility.

Pronto’s docking system ensures bike security and frees users from bike maintenance. And, the bike is a cinch to ride too. It has a sturdy step-through frame, wide tires for a stable stance, a comfy saddle, an enclosed chain to keep your pants or skirt from getting dirty, bright, automatic LED lights and a broad range of gearing that can go from high-high to low-low at a flick of the wrist. Members simply use a card-key at the station, grab a bike and go. Not a member? No problem. On-site kiosks guide you through the process.

From pricing and setting up new stations, to education and outreach, Pronto strives to make bike share relevant for a wide range of people. In December, Pronto launched Affordable Housing Memberships to increase accessibility for low-income residents through partnerships with local housing providers. These memberships are discounted based on household income and advertised through fliers translated in seven languages. To encourage participation, Pronto hosts onsite “Street Skills 101” classes.

“Social equity and accessibility are at the forefront of Pronto’s mission,” says executive director Holly Houser. “We want to see people on bikes who may have never otherwise considered riding, because it’s an easy and efficient way to get around.”

Pronto’s Equity Advisory Committee meets monthly and advises the Board on equity issues, challenges and potential solutions. As a result, Pronto has introduced a monthly installment payment option for annual members and, in late January, Pronto became one of the few systems in the country to offer discounts for seniors. Other efforts include a partnership with Bank On to offer no-fee, no-minimum bank accounts to low-income individuals and discounts on membership. This March, the organization announced Seattle’s first-ever Women’s Bike Month.

“With only 36 percent of Pronto annual members identifying as female, we wanted to raise the profile of #WomenWhoBike and increase female ridership in Seattle,” says Shae Healey, Pronto marketing manager.

In 2015, Pronto plans to expand into Seattle’s Central District, Yesler Terrace and Little Saigon neighborhoods and will begin a study to look at bringing bike share to the Rainier Valley. Look for more green bikes soon!

Since its launch in October 2014, Pronto has:

2,573 annual members

10,094 short-term pass holders

120,846 miles ridden by all

58,623 trips ridden by all

as of 4/28/15