WheelShare: Spokane’s Shared Mobility Program

WheelShare is the City of Spokane’s permanent shared mobility program that allows electric-assist bikes and electric scooters to be checked out and used for a small fee throughout the city. Lime, the same company that operated a pilot program in the fall of 2018, is the operator for the permanent program.

Lime uses a dockless system that allows electric-assist bikes and scooters to be parked at essentially any location. Each bike and scooter has the necessary equipment for rental. To rent a bike or scooter, citizens must be 18 years old and will need to download the Lime app. The links to the app are provided below, and people also can find them on the iPhone App Store or Android Google Play.

Get the Lime App from the Apple Store.
Please note: This app is only available on the App Store for iOS devices.

Get the Lime App on Google Play.
Please note: This app is available on Google Play for Android devices.

Rules to Roll

The program includes some basic rules of operation that were approved by City Council and designed to allow the program to operate smoothly and safely. Here’s what users need to know:

  • Know your Location. Bike and scooter users need to ride in the street or in the bike lanes in the downtown core to avoid conflict with pedestrians on the sidewalks. See the map below. Outside of downtown on streets with speed limits higher than 30, scooters should be ridden on the sidewalk.
  • Watch your Speed. Bike and scooter speed limits are 15 mph on the Centennial Trail, and 7 mph within Riverfront Park. Scooter speed will automatically be regulated down to about 7 mph in Riverfront Park.
  • Ride Safely. Helmets are encouraged for all WheelShare users. And, users are asked to be considerate riders and watch for conflicts with other users of the streets, sidewalks, and trails. Helmets will be available at various locations in the City. Please contact Lime for more information.

Background

Following positive outcomes and response during a shared mobility pilot program in Fall 2018, the City allowed shared mobility to become a more permanent program. Feedback from the pilot gave City Staff information about what worked great, and what improvements would allow shared mobility to function well.

During the pilot between September 4 and November 16, 2018; the Lime bikes and scooters were used throughout the City. Over 148,000 rides were taken, with the majority (over 108,000) of these trips on electric scooters. Many citizens provided feedback through an online survey during the pilot period, including those who used the system and those who did not. In all, 3,476 responses were collected during the pilot, with 64% of these being people who used the bikes and/or scooters and 36% who did not. When asked whether they thought shared mobility was good for Spokane; 95% of users and 59% of non-users felt it was. More information about the survey and recommendations for bikeshare in Spokane can be found in a consultant report.

This presentation summarizes the outcomes of the pilot and the next steps for Shared Mobility that were recommended following the pilot.

In order to allow permanent operation, a stakeholder policy group evaluated the city ordinances, the municipal code was updated, operational permit requirements were developed, and a request for proposals was issued to shared mobility operators who expressed interest to work in Spokane. Lime was selected to operate in Spokane beginning in May 2019.

To allow permanent operation of a shared mobility program, City Council approved ordinance amendments that:

  • Allow application-based rental programs to promote helmet use through education, advertisement, and/or reduced fares instead of the requirement to directly provide a helmet with every rental transaction.
  • Allow motorized scooters to operate downtown, but restricting them from sidewalk use. Adjustments to roadway use requirements will allow motorized scooters to operate in the downtown roadways and bicycle lanes.
  • Allow motorized scooter users to wear a bicycle helmet, as opposed to the former requirement to use motorcycle helmets.

Videos

WheelShare to launch in the City on May 13; Here’s what you need to know

WheelShare Council Connection with Karen Stratton


Contact Information

For general WheelShare program questions, please contact Colin Quinn-Hurst 509.625.6804 or Brandon Blankenagel 509.625.6419 or email us at: wheelshare@spokanecity.org