Two Pronto bike share stations were vandalized over the weekend. Police are investigating incidents at 12th Avenue NE & NE Campus Parkway and at Eastlake Ave E & E Allison S; investigators are not sure if the damage is due to the same vandal or two or more unrelated troublemakers. A string of vandalism incidents has plagued Pronto, which has had to deal with six incidents impacting over 60 bikes in recent weeks.
The damage includes punctured tires, ripped seats, slashed bungie cords, and a tag on one of the bikes that will need to be removed. Pronto estimates that the repair and replacement of damaged parts will be over $1,000.
Pronto has had a troubled history in Seattle over the last year. The bike share program revealed that it was insolvent in January, and was bought out by the Seattle City Council in March. Detractors of the bike share program pointed out that while Pronto has been a success in Boston and Washington, DC, Seattle’s distinctive bright green bikes average less than one ride per day and were sold to the public with overoptimistic estimates of ridership and sponsorship opportunities. When the city of Seattle took ownership of the Pronto program, fewer than 1 percent of city employees held memberships; the bike-share director and transportation chief were not among those members. Proponents of expanding the bike-sharing program pointed out that Pronto’s underperforming areas were poorly planned and that ridership might improve with better coverage of Seattle’s urban core.
Image source: KOMO News