There’s also the giant tunnel that a lot of people thought was a bad idea, especially after a giant drill named Bertha spent two years stuck in it (7 million plus). Hell, if Seattle hadn’t dug that hole in the ground, we could all be riding bicycle-powered Fabergé blimps right now.If there’s a lesson in all this, it’s that the cities that see the heaviest use of their bike-share networks are the same ones that put the most work into making their cities a pleasant and non-deadly place to bike. Last November, the city passed a new property tax that will funnel 0 million into better infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists.
In America’s hipper cities, bike-sharing programs have been the hot craze in municipal transportation for understandable reasons.
When the sluggish economy squeezed government budgets, they seemed to be the perfect infrastructure project for cash-strapped cities.
They also offered everything a progressive city politician could want.
They burnished your green credentials, came relatively cheap, and made excellent backdrops for ribbon-cutting photos.
So what happens when your city’s new bike-share system goes bankrupt a year after opening?
On Monday, the Seattle City Council decided to save the city’s bike program from impending bankruptcy by voting to shell out .4 million to buy it.Now Seattle is the ambivalent owner of Pronto, as its known, the city’s very own 500-bike transportation network. Or has the city saddled itself with the modern equivalent of the monorail?Since Pronto launched in 2014, sightings of the bikes doing anything other than sitting locked up by the side of the street have been rare.Pronto users make about 400 trips per day — less than one trip per bike.Perhaps riders are deterred by Seattle’s notoriously distracted drivers and its wet, staggeringly steep hills.Those who do hop on Pronto bikes tend to ride when the sun is out (not that often) and use them just to go downhill.