The Seattle City Council and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) evidently failed to properly vet the failed bike-share company Pronto before agreeing to acquire it for a whopping $1.4 million of taxpayer dollars (not including the millions more it is expected to pump into the company to keep it alive). According to reports, the bike-share “seemingly lied about its membership numbers.”
The general manager of Pronto’s parent company, Motivate, admitted that membership is at 1,900 members. The company claimed to have 3,000 members.
It’s unlikely that this was a mere “mistake” on the part of Pronto. But, while the company may have lied, perhaps more concerning is the fact that the City of Seattle failed to try to find out the truth before purchasing Pronto with public money.
KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz recently asked a string of more-than-relevant questions about the controversy:
“But, more importantly, how did the Seattle City Council not catch this? They just spent $1.4 million of taxpayer money that, even at 3,000 membership levels, was money foolishly spent. We just now realize they spent $736 per Pronto member to save a service that can’t succeed in Seattle.
“Did the city council not vet the data provided to them? Perhaps they didn’t care. This was an ideological decision by most of the council members and they would have supported this bad bailout even if there were only 10 members. So why was the membership data hidden? Surely Pronto knew they had support from the majority of the council. (If the council wouldn’t have supported a bailout with the true membership numbers, I expect they will reconvene and discuss this sale again, don’t you think?)
“But the questions go beyond just the council. Did the Seattle Department of Transportation knowingly lie to the city council over the details of this failed business? How did SDOT, the chief advocate for buying this business, not know the actual membership data? The expectation is that they vet the data. And how much did the former Motivate employee (then known as Alta) and current SDOT Director Scott Kubly know about this?”
It’s interesting to note that SDOT Director Scott Kubly is now under investigation by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission for his close connections to the bike-share company. Ultimately, this disastrous scheme is further proof of how far the Left will go to push their extreme agenda, even at the expense of the public.
As long as they are spending Other People’s Money it must be OK to not actually do any research.