Making Seattle's Bike Share Affordable for All

Welcome to the neighborhood, Pronto Cycle Share! With 50 stations in Downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill, and the U-District, the new bike share system is an awesome way to make short trips around town.  Pronto Cycle Share is already getting a lot of use—in the first week, Seattleites made some 500 trips per day. Phyllis Pronto Photo courtesy of PubliCola We're excited to see more bikes on the roads, but we're even more excited by the work that Rainier Valley Greenways' Phyllis Porter is doing to make sure that Pronto Cycle Share is accessible and affordable for all. Porter is on Pronto's Equity Advisory Committee. She's working on a program that would make annual memberships more affordable for people living in low-income housing. According to the SeattleMet, "The idea is that Pronto will piggyback on Seattle Housing Authority's screening process to ensure that the cheaper memberships get to low-income Seattleites." Porter tells us that people in Seattle's low-income housing programs will be eligible to pay an annual membership fee of $20, $30, or $40, depending on annual median income (the standard membership is $85/year). Porter says she joined the Equity Committee because she wanted to know how Pronto would make it's bike share affordable for low-income people in the city. "There are people that struggle monthly with paying their electric bill. How do you get those people and others in similar situations to join Pronto?  People experiencing hard times may not see riding a bike throughout the city as a first priority. Keeping the lights on would come first." The Equity Committee comes to the table monthly to find realistic answers to making Pronto membership accessible to more people across the city. Coupled with the Mayor's plans to extend the bike share system to the Central District, Yesler Terrace, and Little Saigon in the next couple of years, reduced rate memberships will help make sure the bike share system is working for all of Seattle's residents, not just the most privileged.