The city of Seattle purchased Pronto, the failed bike-share company, for a whopping $1.4 million. The city plans to spend another $5 million in 2017, expanding the experiment. From then, the city projects it will spend about $2 million each year in operating costs.
Pronto failed because virtually no one wants to regularly ride heavy bikes up Seattle’s many hills. When Pronto opened a little over year ago, ridership hovered around an embarrassing one trip per bike per day.
Recently, we learned that not even Nicole Freedman — the head of the city’s biking efforts — holds a membership. When asked why, she claimed that the question was “too personal.” Absurdly, Scott Kubly, the Seattle Department of Transportation director and bike-share champion, is not a Pronto member either.
Of course, the bad press over the ethics investigation into Kubly’s involvement with Pronto hasn’t done the scheme any favors.
Well, Pronto has a new promotional plan to get new riders.
If you are so inclined, you can ride Pronto bikes for free on May 20 for at least for 30 minutes — then you start paying regular usage fees.
That’s it. That’s the promotional plan.
If Pronto is lucky, perhaps it can even get Nicole Freedman and Scott Kubly to become members with that plan.
The costs described elsewhere to join/ride seemed really unduly expensive, too.