Plans call for an initial launch of 500 bikes in North and Central Seattle in the spring of 2014. The program is by 2017.
Alta Bicycle Share is behind two existing bike sharing networks in the US: Capitol Bike Share in Washington, D.C., and Hubway in Boston. It has also reached agreements to implement bike sharing in New York City, Portland, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C.
"Alta brings the experience and state of the art equipment to operate a bike share network that meets revenue goals and appeals to users with intuitive design and top notch service," Holly Houser, Puget Sound Bike Share executive director, said in a news release. "Bike share systems in world class cities from Paris to London to Washington D.C. have become instantly iconic symbols of vibrant and progressive urban centers. It’s our turn now. Bike sharing belongs here."
Houser also said Alta was able to "address a number of the Seattle’s unique challenges" by offering 7-speed bikes (to better tackle hills) and a vending system that helps bike share participants comply with King County's helmet law.
“You ask for a helmet, it comes out a door on the bottom. It’s just like getting candy or a bag of chips,” Alta's Steve Durrant told The Seattle Times in an extensive story about Puget Sound Bike Share that was published Tuesday.
Funding for the program is expected to come from state and federal grants, as well as business sponsors, the Times reported. The Washington State Department of Transportation has recommended $750,000 go toward the system.