A new program in Seattle will offer rental bikes as a mode of public transportation.
Puget Sound Bike Share plans to add 500 bicycles on Seattle streets to be ready for a 2014 launch. Cyclists will be able to check out a bike at 50 street-side stops in the downtown area. Users can grab a bike at one stop then return it wherever the next nearest station is located.
"There is a wide diversity of people that come to downtown for work who are going to use this system," said Holly Houser, Executive Director of Puget Sound Bike Share.
The estimated cost is $3.7 million of public and private money to launch the program. Houser said the cost is for bikes, bike racks helmets and kiosks.
"If you compare it to other transportation forms, it’s really not that much," Houser said.
To prevent someone from stealing the bikes, each will have their own GPS device. The bikes are also specially made so that standard tools cannot be used to take them apart.
Portland-based Alta Bike Share has been chosen to build and operate the Seattle system. The company already operates bike shares in Washington, D.C., Boston, and Chattanooga, Tenn.