Seattle Bike Share program prepares for late summer launch

SEATTLE - Expect to see more even more bikes in downtown Seattle soon, with plans for a new Bike Share program set to roll out in late summer.

Puget Sound Bike Share executive director Holly Houser says they'll unveil branding and sponsorships next month and schedule 12 community workships to get neighborhood feedback.

The program is designed with transit-oriented commuters in mind.

"It's sort of a great option for those trips that are too long to walk and too short to take a bus," says Houser. "It's a very sort of accessible, affordable way to get around."

The program allows members to pay a yearly or daily fee, then check out one of 500 different bikes at kiosks scattered around the downtown area, then return it to another location. Houser says the membership would include unlimited trips under half an hour.

"The annual membership will probably be about 85 dollars," says Houser. A 24-hour subscription would cost around 8 dollars. Helmet vending machines will be available at each station, with helmets available for purchase or rental.

Phase 1 of the program includes stations in the University District, South Lake Union, Seattle Children's hospital, Capitol Hill and the downtown area.

Funding includes a $500,000 from Seattle Children's Hospital, $500,000 from the state Department of Transportation and $1 million in grant money from the Federal Government.