Let's say you work in Pioneer Square and want to meet up with an Amazon-employed friend to sample South Lake Union's famous fleet of lunchtime food trucks. Or you live in South Lake Union and want to hit up Pike Place Market for fresh produce. Here's the problem: Two-mile distances like these are too far to walk for quick trips, busing isn't direct, and parking in popular areas is a hassle. All of these factors discourage people from branching out of their neighborhoods for short jaunts.
But Puget Sound Bike Share (PSBS) could change the way we navigate through our city. By May 2014, PSBS hopes to open 50 bike stands stocked with 500 bikes throughout downtown, Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, and the University District.
Here's how it would work: Bikes would be available to rent for either a small monthly fee or an annual fee (around $85) or a 24-hour membership of around $9. Don't carry a helmet around with you? No problem—the bike stands will rent those for around $3. Imagine grabbing a bike from a stand blocks from your home or office and biking downtown for a work meeting or to the weekend farmers market in the University District. Wherever you end up, you'll find another PSBS bike stand within a few blocks of your destination to check that bike in. No bike locks necessary, no parking hassles, no long bus waits. When you're ready to go home, check out another bike and ride home (or take the bus). This is the future of Seattle and, eventually, of Puget Sound.