Puget Sound Bike Share one step closer to launching

Puget Sound Bike Share announced today that it is one step closer to launching thanks to a grant recommendation from the Washington State Department of Transportation Pedestrian and Bicycle Program. The Program has recommended that King County Metro Transit receive a grant of $750,000 to fund Puget Sound Bike Share’s initial construction of a regional bike share network. If approved by the Legislature in 2013, the grant will fund construction costs for approximately 12-15 bike share stations in the University District, a key target neighborhood for the Phase 1 launch of a regional bike sharing program. The grant recommendation comes as Puget Sound Bike Share begins recruiting corporations, nonprofits, foundations and individuals to sign on as bike share sponsors. “This grant recommendation comes at a critical time.  The grant would allow Puget Sound Bike Share to begin construction on a bike share network that will improve urban travel while fulfilling state health and safety goals,” said Puget Sound Bike Share executive director Holly Houser in a press release.   “The recommendation also sends a signal to other potential funders in the region that bike share is moving forward.  We appreciate the consideration of the Washington State Legislature and look to the larger Puget Sound community to join this effort to make our communities more vibrant and active with bike share.” If received, the grant funding would be matched by in-kind donations from King County and the City of Seattle as well as in-kind and direct investment funds from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s.  Puget Sound Bike Share will rely on a combination of corporate sponsorships as well as federal, local and state grants to fund construction and implementation of the broader network. “A bike share network is the sort of catalyst that can jumpstart a virtuous circle of activity and growth,” said Josh Kavanagh, Director of UW Transportation Services, in a statement.  “At the University District level, just 37 percent of the employed population owns a car, compared to 84% citywide.  This makes our area, along with many other popular urban destinations, an excellent market base for an affordable, convenient, and safe new transportation option.  We are thrilled to have support from Washington State and local partners to launch bike share in our region.” In early 2013, Puget Sound Bike Share expects to release a “Request for Proposals” for vendors qualified to operate a bike share network.  

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Anne-Marije Rook