Seattle is on the verge of doing what Vancouver — to this point — has failed to do: launch a public bike sharing program.
Bike share planners there have had to grapple with the same roadblocks as those in Vancouver, such as how to distribute helmets, get sponsors, and deal with the bankruptcy of the technology manufacturer, Bixi.
Vancouver's $6-million plan to install 25 solar-powered docking stations for 250 bikes in the city's downtown core by spring 2014 was thrown into jeopardy when Bixi filed for bankruptcy in January, but the City has promised to continue on with the plan.
Meanwhile the $4.5 million Puget Sound Bike Share is set to launch in September, according to its executive director Holly Houser.
"We are going to be launching 50 stations and 500 bikes. Those will be in the four, sort of, densest core neighbourhoods in Seattle. We will have helmet vending kiosks at every station."
Houser says Seattle planners took a leap of faith with the management company, Alta, hoping it would work out the issues.