The city of Seattle has passed legislation to make dockless bike share a “permanent fixture” in the city, allowing up to 20,000 of them to operate, while also setting a nonbinding deadline for the city to build a network of protected bike lanes through downtown.
The Seattle Times says the bike-share legislation, passed unanimously, allows up to four companies to operate in the city, each paying $250,000 for the right to scatter up to 5,000 bikes on the city’s sidewalks.
The report explains that the c10,000 bikes currently in the city were used an average of about 7,000 times a day in May and June for as little as $1 a ride.
However private companies are unhappy at what they see are some of the highest permit fees in the country. One, the Chinese company ofo has already pulled out, citing the $50 per-bike, per-year fees.
“The exorbitant fees that accompany these new regulations — the highest in the country — make it impossible for ofo to operate and effectively serve our riders,” the Seattle Times quotes Lina Feng, the general manager of ofo Seattle as saying.