Common FAQs

Bike Share 101

How does Pronto Cycle Share work?

JOIN

Purchase a 24-Hour or 3-Day Pass from any kiosk or sign up for an annual membership key online. Don’t forget to rent or bring a helmet!

TAKE

Unlock a bike from any Pronto Station using the kiosk or membership key.

RIDE

Run an errand. Grab a bite. Commute to work or school. The first 30 minutes are free!

RETURN

Lock the bike back at any station. Wait for the green light to confirm the bike is secure.

REPEAT

Need to get somewhere else? Take out another bike! Additional trips under 30 minutes are free during a membership or access period.

What is bike share? What are its key elements and features?

Bike sharing is an innovative new transportation system, allowing users to take short distance trips without owning their own bike. The Pronto fleet is made up of specially designed, heavy-duty, very durable bikes found in a network of docking stations all over Seattle. Bike share systems allow users to control their own travel and are intended to be used for short, quick trips – typically less than 2 miles.

To ride, users can purchase short-term passes (24-Hour or 3-Day) or Annual Memberships to use the system. 24-Hour or 3-Day Passes may be purchased from any station kiosk using a credit or debit card. Annual Members enroll online and receive a personal key used to quickly unlock bikes from any station.

Bikes can be returned to any station anywhere in the system, creating an efficient network with many possible connection points and combinations of departures and arrivals.

Why launch bike share?

Puget Sound Bike Share’s mission is to provide residents and visitors with more options for getting around the region. Bike share will make trips fast, efficient, easy, and affordable. Pronto will give residents and visitors access to a bike when they want one, without having to worry about storage or maintenance. It will also help complete the city's great mass transit system – in comparable cities, up to 50% of bike share trips are made to get to or from a public transit station.

Who can use bike share?

Pronto will be available to everyone 16 years and older with a credit or debit card. Bike share in cities all over the world are used by a wide range of people for an almost infinite variety of trips. In Seattle, bike share will be used by commuters and tourists alike, whether they are trying to get across town at rush hour, traveling between meetings, running errands, or moving among Seattle’s vast array of attractions.

Is bike share safe?

Pronto bikes are extremely stable and sturdily built. They are routinely maintained by professional mechanics to check safety features such as always-on lights, bells, and GPS devices. Pronto will also have helmets available to rent or purchase at all stations.

Today, cycling has never been safer in Seattle. Seattle has over 129 miles of existing bicycle facilities and will be adding over 400 miles of new facilities to be implemented over the next 20 years as part of the 2013 Bicycle Master Plan Update.

Puget Sound Bike Share will use Pronto to increase outreach around bicycle safety. Pronto’s visibility and the shear increase in the number of bicyclists will create a great platform to further educate residents on how to safely share the streets.

What other cities have bike share – how do they compare?

People are using bike share systems in over 200 cities, including New York, Boston, Washington, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago, London, Paris, and Barcelona with more programs launching each year. In London, the 8,000-bike Barclays Cycle Hire program has recorded 22 million trips since its launch in 2010. Washington DC's 1,100 bike program was so successful it has already expanded to 2,500 bikes to keep up with demand.

Launching Pronto

Where are the stations?

Bike share stations will be placed near existing transit hubs, employment centers, shopping districts, medical centers, schools and other popular destinations. They will be located on sidewalks or on the street near the curb. Stations are wireless, solar powered and modular so that they can be easily installed. To recommend a station visit the share station public input tool.

Why these areas and not others?

We know from studying bike share systems globally that to successfully launch a sustainable system, we must start in the densest areas with the highest anticipated use. As funding and demand allows, the system will eventually expand into other Seattle neighborhoods and surrounding communities.

Are there jobs? How do people find out?

As positions become available, job descriptions and openings will be posted here.

Who will own and operate Pronto Cycle Share?

Puget Sound Bike Share will own the equipment. Alta Bicycle Share, the leading operator of bike share programs in the United States, will operate the program. Operating costs are expected to be covered by revenues generated by user fees, sponsorships and/or corporate partnerships.

How can I sponsor a station?

Station Sponsorship

Download a PDF

What happens to Puget Sound Bike Share?

Puget Sound Bike Share is now Pronto Cycle Share, and remains the nonprofit owner and administrator of the system. Board members include representatives from SDOT, King County Metro, UW, WSDOT, Sound Transit, Seattle Children’s Hospital, REI, Microsoft, Cascade Bicycle Club, Puget Sound Regional Council, City of Redmond and City of Kirkland.

Membership

How and when can I join?

Annual memberships will be available for purchase soon! For more information, stay in touch with us through this site, our Facebook and Twitter pages, and by signing up for our mailing list!

What is the price?

Annual Membership: $85.

3-Day Pass: $16.

24-Hour Pass: $8.

Helmet Rental: $2 per helmet.

Bike share systems are designed for short, quick trips from point to point. 24-Hour Pass holders, 3-Day Pass holders, and Annual Members may make as many trips 30 minute or less trips at no extra cost. Rides which last longer than 30 minutes incur additional fees based on how long users keep the bike. The fees are minimal in the first additional half hour but escalate after that.

Will there be a smart-phone app?

Yes! Pronto will have a smart-phone app that riders will be able to use to find the location and status of nearby stations.

Troubleshooting

What if someone gets to a full station and can't park their bike or a station has no bikes?

There are a few solutions to this issue. First, users can check real-time bike and dock availability online or on their smartphones at any time. Second, if a user arrives at a full station, the kiosk will direct them to a nearby station with available docks. Users can request a 15-minute time credit to travel to the nearest station by pressing the Time Credit option button on the kiosk, under More Options. Pronto stations are sited so the distance between them isn't great. Finally, users will be able to call the Pronto customer service line 24 hours a day for assistance.

Employees will be regularly circulating throughout the system to redistribute bikes and make sure they don't all pile up in one place. In addition, as we learn how residents and visitors use bike share, we’ll be able to fine-tune station sizes and our redistribution schedules.

What if a Pronto Bike gets stolen?

A user is responsible for their bike from when they remove it from a dock until they have successfully secured it at the end of their trip. If, for example, a user leaves a bike undocked while running errands and the bike is stolen, the user is responsible for it and will be required to pay for its replacement. Part of the importance of the station density is to ensure that users will always find a station within a few blocks of their destination to dock the bike. When a Pronto bike is securely re-docked at the end of a trip, it is no longer the user’s responsibility.

If a Pronto bike is taken from them, the user would need to file a police report and call the Pronto customer service center to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

What's the replacement cost of a bike?

The cost to replace a Pronto bike is up to $1,200.

What happens if someone crashes and is injured?

Pronto and the Police Department have contact protocol so that Pronto operations will be notified and will pick up a bike at an accident site if the rider is unable to return it to a dock.