It appears that even Seattle City Council members are not too impressed by the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) plans to bailout Pronto, the failed bike share company – though they have not written the idea off completely. Council members have asked Pronto to “continue working on its pitch” before it gives the go-ahead to spend $1.4 million.
Councilmember Tim Burgess told the Seattle Times that he is “totally sold” on the idea of having a bike-sharing company in the city (though, let’s be clear, it is a failed business model). But, for Burgess, it’s the “financial risks to the city” that makes him hesitate. Again, the bike-share business model does not work in Seattle. Pronto’s failure just proved it.
Meanwhile, Councilmember Mike O’Brien complained that SDOT took the liberty of spending $305,000 on Pronto without asking the Council for permission. He did however, say that he would be open to the prospect if SDOT can prove that it can make it work. Again, no one seems remotely interested in the reality that bike sharing is, in fact, a failed business model.
If councilmembers ultimately decide to allow the purchase of Pronto, SDOT would spend an additional $5 million to add more stations and bikes. Among other sketchy considerations (other than the fact that the city has better things to spend taxpayer dollars on), is the fact that SDOT director Scott Kubly has direct ties to the company.
Photo via the Seattle Times.