New bike-share program Spin launches in Seattle – but not here, yet

Thanks to ScottA for pointing out, in a comment below this morning’s traffic coverage, that the newest bike-share company to serve Seattle just launched today. (Here’s coverage on Seattle Bike Blog.) Unlike the previous one, this one does not have fixed stations, and is not operating with public dollars. Like the previous one, though, it’s not serving West Seattle – for starters – although some of its bikes theoretically could wind up here (unless specifically prohibited – check the rules if and when you try it). The service is called Spin. We e-mailed to ask if any of their bicycles would be placed on this side of the bay, and Head of Operations Matt Whiffen replied:

The city of Seattle put forth a few specific regulations as to how many bikes can be put out per company and when. Basically, it’s 500 the first month, another 500 the second month, an add’l 1,000 the third month, and TBD after that. We’re not quite to the point of expanding to West Seattle, but it’s on the short list!

Matt also expressed interest in “what parts of West Seattle would be best suited for what we do.” We suggested he talk to local bicycling advocates such as West Seattle Bike Connections, if they haven’t already. Meantime, another stationless bikeshare service, LimeBike, is launching in Seattle this week too, as SBB reports, but its test-ride-location list suggests it’s not addressing this side of the city yet either.

51 Replies to "New bike-share program Spin launches in Seattle - but not here, yet"

  • Trickycoolj July 17, 2017 (5:50 pm)

    Orange one spotted at the C line bus stop mid way up Avalon if anyone wants to try it! Lol so much for center city neighborhoods!

    • JRH July 21, 2017 (5:07 pm)

      I hate them they are ugly and now we are bumping into bikes and cars on the sidewalks and streets.   I have one parked in dead end street in front of a house where it looks like they get to use it exclusively for their own family.   I had to buy my bike.  Most of the people on are street have several cars also.  

  • Westside45 July 17, 2017 (5:58 pm)

    Who would ride that up Admiral Way?

    • Jort Sandwich July 17, 2017 (6:10 pm)

      Typically, bike share is meant for quicker trips, in which you only need to travel a short distance quickly. 

      There are many types of bike riders; some commute to downtown, others just want to take a bike from their house to the store, and others just like riding around for fun. Bike shares can help with all of those riding styles, but it can be especially beneficial for some more than others.

      The success of a bike share system does not depend on the bikes’ ability to climb one specific hill in West Seattle. 

      • ltfd July 18, 2017 (3:26 pm)

        Bike rental

    • Mary July 17, 2017 (6:14 pm)

      You could ride towards Alki – it is very flat and a bike path most of the way!

  • Jort Sandwich July 17, 2017 (6:06 pm)

    From what I understand, you can take and park the current bikes anywhere in the city limits, if you want, including here in West Seattle. The bikeshare companies just don’t (yet) plan to deliberately place the bikes anywhere in the West Seattle area as part of their “rebalancing” (for example, moving bikes from downtown Seattle up to the top of Capitol Hill in a truck). If they do, I’m hoping they’ll place several along most of California, as well as High Point and throughout the Junction. And, of course, Alki.

    I rode one of the bikes today, and it would be lovely to pick one up for a quick ride from the Beer Junction down to Beveridge Place. For $1, that beats the cost of a Lyft.

    Bonus: since this an article that contains something related to Seattle transportation, I am sure I will not have to wait too long for the inevitable comment about Supreme Leader and Transportation Dictator-For-Life Scott Kubly and/or the quadrillions of quadrillions of dollars that were literally lit on fire and then dumped into the abyss of Puget Sound, all in the name of Pronto Bike Share, which apparently was the greatest fiscal disaster, if not crime against humanity, in the history of civic government. Extra special bonus points if Kubly’s last name is intentionally misspelled to make him seem even more tyrannical and despotic. 

    • chemist July 17, 2017 (7:26 pm)

      Jort, do you know if Pronto bikes are still in a city warehouse and when SDOT has to repay the feds’ $1 million grant for the bike share ?

    • West Sea Neighbor July 18, 2017 (7:57 am)

       it would be lovely to pick one up for a quick ride from the Beer Junction down to Beveridge Place.”

      I like the way you think.

    • Rider July 18, 2017 (10:19 am)

      Let’s organize a large group to ride some of these over to the west side ;)

      • Neighbor July 18, 2017 (7:01 pm)

        I’m up for that. Thinking I will bus to work and take one back to WS every night and may be someone will get the message. 

    • Mary July 18, 2017 (7:10 pm)

      Done. Thanks for the suggestion, Jort! Fun ride down California. That’s Mark, our local Real Change vendor.

      • Jake July 18, 2017 (9:12 pm)

        Nice photo! Did you grab the bike I left at the junction this afternoon? I’m using my commutes from downtown in an effort to build up our local bike stock 😀

        • Mary July 19, 2017 (4:24 am)

          Yes indeed – I did grab the bike you left in the junction yesterday – thanks for bringing it over! :) I’m flying out of town today for a week, but I’ll resume the Spin bike share fun when I return! Really happy bike share is back in Seattle! This whole “dockless” system is really awesome – it feels much different than Pronto (always having to end at a station). And West Seattle is a great place to ride these bikes!

  • Mary July 17, 2017 (6:16 pm)

    Looks like one has crossed the bridge west – awesome!

  • Marty July 17, 2017 (6:17 pm)

    This didn’t work a year ago, but it is SURE to work now? Where is the logic and common sense?

    • WSB July 17, 2017 (7:20 pm)

      If you actually read the background info, a *lot* about this is different. So it’s not what “didn’t work a year ago.” Doesn’t mean it WILL work, but it’s not a rerun/retry.

  • wetone July 17, 2017 (7:20 pm)

    How’s all this work since Seattle has a helmet law ?  seems to be no helmet’s included with this program ?  Is our great Seattle government Murray, Kubly, Constantine and legal team giving the ok to riders of this program to break the law and not issue tickets ? like many other laws not being enforced these days.  When one gets hurt or forbid a head injury who’s accountable for damages ?  tax payers or owners this program ?

    • WSB July 17, 2017 (7:47 pm)

      You’re accountable for providing your own. There’s extensive discussion in the Seattle Bike Blog item’s comments, including foldable helmets …

    • AMD July 17, 2017 (7:56 pm)

      A driver’s license is required to drive.  So people only use Car2Go or ZipCar if they have a license.

      It stands to reason that people will similarly be expected to provide their own helmets to stay within the law while riding these bicycles.

      Frankly, it’s safer to have people provide their own helmets anyway.  There’s less chance of an ill-fitting (so less safe) helmet or one that’s been damaged without the wearer’s knowledge.  

    • Swede. July 17, 2017 (9:13 pm)

      If someone gets hurt for not wearing a helmet it’s that person’s own fault for not doing so. Taking responsibility for your own actions is a thing. 

    • Swede. July 17, 2017 (9:11 pm)

      Looks like these bikes got a GPS tracker from the picture above. So they won’t be to hard to find…

    • Trickycoolj July 17, 2017 (9:58 pm)

      This one is also pretty amusing mostly from London:

      • ltfd July 18, 2017 (3:31 pm)

        Yep. That is what will happen here. Very soon, the bikes will be in Bremerton, and one WILL make it to the island in Greenlake.

        • Swede. July 20, 2017 (7:25 pm)

          Sounds like a challenge! 

  • aa July 17, 2017 (8:53 pm)

    I wish I felt safe to ride a bike in this city but I don’t. Today I saw a guy driving with both hands on his phone and his forearms leaning on the steering wheel. Last week I was driving across the WS bridge alongside a woman who was putting on eye makeup while driving.   Nope, no bike for me in this crowded distracted city.

  • Jeannie July 17, 2017 (8:59 pm)

    Jort Sandwich, since you asked, here is an inevitable comment, including misspelling Kubly’s name. Also, the dollars were not LITERALLY lit on fire, but they might has well have been.

    Let’s hope this non-public-funded program is a success unlike Supreme Leader and Transportation Dictator-For-Life Skott Cubely’s (who by the way, violated the city’s Ethics Code) disastrous Pronto Bike Share program. Quadrillions of dollars were FIGURATIVELY lit on fire and dumped into the abyss of Puget Sound. The burnt dollars, though, had a benefit. They were used as nesting material for octopus.

    Let’s hope, with a new mayor, Publey will be gone. 

  • TJ July 17, 2017 (10:06 pm)

    Jort, I actually hope this is a success. More than anything just to show how inept government is at running a program like a business. Kubly has been an utter disaster for Seattle, and Pronto was a prime example. If he was in a private business he would have been fired for incompetence, but since he is in Seattle government he gets a pass since, hey, it was only the taxpayers money. Fitting he was spoon fed the job from Murray. And btw, transportation directors use to be engineers with a focus on roads and moving cars. All thrown out the window for a incompetent social engineer who has let the streets go to hell while doing nothing but pander to his bike club cronies

    • Chris July 17, 2017 (10:51 pm)

      Transportation is about moving people. Not cars.

      • Neighbor July 18, 2017 (7:05 pm)

        Right on, Chris. Keep on educating the ignorant. 

    • Jort July 18, 2017 (9:35 am)

      Well, I wouldn’t say Kubly has been an “utter disaster” for Seattle, since the fatal and serious injury crash rate has decreased from 45 crashes per 100,000 people in 2006 to nearly 15 per 100,000 people in 2015.

      I view the success of our transportation decisions on how safe our streets are, and how many lives are saved. I’m sorry that you feel the purpose of a road is to get cars through as fast as possible, no matter what the consequences are for lives and families in Seattle.

      • SMITTYTHECLOWN July 18, 2017 (11:52 am)

        He was appointed in 2014, wasn’t he?  

  • Mark July 17, 2017 (10:39 pm)

    Seasonality and hills are significant factors.  When the weather is nice and it is light out more people are willing to ride.  During the winter it is dark and rainy and only the dedicated 2 to 3 percent ride.  

    It would be nice if SDoT understood this.

    • West Sea Neighbor July 18, 2017 (8:01 am)

      2-3% is not an insignificant number, and those who commute by bike in all weather should still be able to get to work safely.

      • Jort Sandwich July 18, 2017 (12:56 pm)

        Additionally, those who want to bike for any other reason, not necessarily for commuting, should be able to do so safely, as well. 

        Sometimes Seattle gets locked into “Cycling is for commuters only” mentality. 

      • sam-c July 18, 2017 (2:48 pm)

        It would be cool if one of these bike companies had those motor assist bikes to help with riding up the hills.  That’s one roadblock for me (that and the kids aren’t able to take their bikes in street traffic yet…. well, one still has training wheels. Someday though! )

        • anthony July 20, 2017 (10:19 am)

          Coming one day soon 

    • Jort July 18, 2017 (9:32 am)

      I wonder how those other cities at or above our latitude (i.e. almost all of Northern Europe) manage to have such significantly higher percentages of cyclist travelers? Isn’t it dark and rainy in Sweden, too? Not only that, it’s COLD!

      Cycling transportation behaviors seem to be influenced more by availability of safe cycling infrastructure and less by personal anecdotes about hills and rain from internet comments. Funny how that works.

      • MsD July 19, 2017 (1:22 am)

        One thing I’ve noticed in cities in Europe is that people commute on bikes without gearing up like they’re riding the Tour de France, which seems to be the standard here in the U.S.  In Munich, especially, you see everyone riding in suits with their briefcases.  I think this makes it seem more accessible, like not a big deal even riding in heavy traffic because if you can do it in business attire, it most not be that taxing.

      • Biking Viking July 19, 2017 (7:09 am)

        Swedish cities are flat and often have paved bike routes that are separate from car traffic.

  • Smittytheclown July 18, 2017 (6:46 am)

    In such a “hilly” city I can’t imagine rebalancing won’t be necessary at some point.  Everyone wants to ride downhill and no one wants to ride up.  We shall see!

  • Clark5080 July 18, 2017 (1:33 pm)

    So everybody who wants to ride one of these will have to bring a bike helmet with them as the city lay requires a helmet. Total waste.

    Go back to the east coast Mr Kubly

  • gh July 18, 2017 (2:18 pm)

    This will fail just like the last project; people with sense will confine their biking to bike trails in the middle of summer as they should.  Those who do not fit into this category already have their own bike.

  • Mark July 18, 2017 (2:50 pm)

    Its not just bike infrastructure, but the City’s failure to aggressively apprehend and prosecute bike thieves.  Biking is more feasible with better bikes, but due to risk of theft many riders including me have a nice bike and a yugo bike less enticing to a thief.

     Yugo type bikes reduce range of biking, are less suitable for hills, as a commute option less desirable. Even the City of Seattle city hall does not allow a person to keep their bike with them.  Theft is a big issue!

  • Mark July 18, 2017 (3:48 pm)

    Its not just bike infrastructure, the City’s failure to apprehend and prosecute bike thieves deters people from dropping money on a nice bike to make riding a reasoned option.

  • Mary July 18, 2017 (8:58 pm)

    Bike was still outside after my beer at BPP, so I rode it home to SPRUCE via 42nd. It’s a nice ride! Easy to adjust the seat. The handlebars seem very low (and I’m a petite gal). Brakes were tight (Prontos always seemed to never want to stop the bike), rear brake a little squeaky. Only 3 gears but it got the job done!

  • Brian July 21, 2017 (8:33 am)

    Found a Spin bike at the West Seattle Middle school this morning.  Saw it there last night and didn’t think it belonged over here.  This morning I found it broken halfway down the stairs leading to the field.  Seems like a bad idea for a program.  I think this company will not make it.  Unfortunately bikes need to be locked to something.  

  • brian July 21, 2017 (9:17 am)

    Found this one broken half way down the stairs at Madison Middle school.  I contacted Spin.  They will be sending someone out to clean up the bike.

Sorry, comment time is over.