Finding a bike to rent in Seattle shouldn't be a hard problem come next week. The startup also has a pilot program in Mountain View, with a fleet of 10 bikes parked in bike racks outside the Chamber of Commerce on Castro Street.
Spin already launched in Seattle earlier this year, and will now put an initial fleet of 125 bikes into active use in South San Francisco during a two week pilot, with plans to grow to around 500 or more bikes after that. Michelle Wine Estates. Seattle Times editors and reporters operate independently of our funders and maintain editorial control over Traffic Lab content.
Bicycles operated by bike sharing startup LimeBike are displayed during a press event to celebrate the company's launch in South San Francisco on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017.
The city's regulations, part of a pilot program, allow the companies to expand again on September 7, to 2,000 bikes each, and again on October 7, when the limit on the number of bikes will essentially disappear.
By next week there could be 4,000 such bikes scattered across the city as two new companies, VBikes (silver bikes) and Ofo (yellow) have applied and are waiting for permits to open up business here. Companies pay the city a $15-per-bike fee as well as other administrative fees.
Two companies, Spin and LimeBike, simultaneously launched dueling fleets of bikes in South San Francisco on Tuesday.
Based in Beijing and mostly operating in China, Ofo is one of the giants of the bike- share world and recently got $700 million in new funding. VBikes is based in Dallas, where it now operates, while it looks at possible future locations. Dallas already had one experience with a city-run bike share, which failed. Sound familiar? Seattle's Pronto bike share also went flat.
The bike shares - all privately owned companies getting no government funding - work similarly.
Seattle is part of a multi-city launch for Limebike.
Spin, a company focused on bringing the stationless bike sharing model to the US after its continued success in Asia, is launching in South San Francisco today (as it planned to last month), making it the first ever to get official city approval in the Bay Area to launch a dockless bike share program. "We can't wait until next month where we can see the true effect of stationless bike share throughout the city".
Unlike Ford GoBike, which is installing dozens of bike parking kiosks throughout San Francisco and the South and East Bay, these new programs are untethered to parking stations - just leave the GPS-tracked bike anywhere after your ride, and the next cyclist uses a smartphone app to find it. Proponents say the convenience will transform biking the way Uber and Lyft have transformed driving. The bikes are parked along sidewalks throughout the city. While the startup provides docking stations to its clients, the bikes also have smart locks that let riders lock them to other public bike racks when they're done.
So far, Google reports that the Limebike app has more than 10,000 downloads and has a rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars.