Officials warn vandals are cutting brakes on bike shares in Seattle
SEATTLE -- Seattle officials are warning those who are about to hop on a bike share in Downtown Seattle to check the brakes before taking off.
Both Spin and ofo bikeshare companies sent an alert to their riders Wednesday that they have received reports of brake lines being cut in the Downtown Seattle area, especially Pioneer Square, Westlake Park and the International District.
So far, no injuries have been reported from the vandalism.
"During regular inspection of our ofo bikes in Seattle, we have discovered that the brake lines of some of our bikes have been deliberately cut in an act of vandalism," ofo wrote in a letter to their users. "Fortunately, the issue has not affected any riders, as we’ve been able to identify and remove the bikes from our platform, but we ask that you please check the brakes thoroughly before any ofo ride."
A Spin spokesperson told KOMO News the cut brakes have been a limited occurrence for their bikes "but we are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our community." A Lime Bike spokesperson echoed those thoughts: "Rider safety is our top priority. Cutting the brake lines of a bike is not only an act of vandalism, but also a crime as it puts the lives and safety of others at risk. Our local team is aware of the situation, and has been working around-the-clock to ensure that all bikes and brakes are double checked for safety."
Seattle DOT officials say they are working with bike share companies to notify users.
"Ofo and other bikeshare companies are actively working with city officials to help address the situation and sharing information to ensure we are best supporting each other and our riders," Ofo officials said.
All bike share companies are urging riders who find issues to contact their respective customer service departments.
"People around Seattle rely on bikesharing everyday and the fact that someone is intentionally sabotaging the system is incredibly disheartening," ofo said. "We are a community, sharing bikes to enhance our lives and cities, and we’re saddened to know this is occurring on any platform... Thank you for being extra vigilant and working with us as we manage this serious issue together."
Seattle Police officials say they were just made aware of the issue and are gathering more information.
The discovery comes a day after vandals dumped several ride share bikes into the Montlake Cut.
Click here for more information or to report a Bike Share problem to the city.