Last year Mercer Island settled its lawsuit with Sound Transit for some money to improve access issues for the future Mercer Island Station. I’m pleased to say that one of those programs will be easy to like: a 25-Ebike pilot program with Limebike, running from mid-July to mid-October.
The Mercer Island Reporter says that Limebike would have shared data, responded to safety and parking issues within time limits, and rebalanced bikes weekly for free. For a monthly subsidy of up to $1,625, Limebike will rebalance bikes every weekday. Enter the settlement money.
Riders will pay the usual E-Bike rate of $1 plus 15 cents per minute.
Most of Mercer Island’s road network is poorly optimized for buses. Alternative measures like this one come at nominal cost and are likely to somewhat improve transit accessibility on the island. Unfortunately, it’s not clear there are enough “reverse commuters” heading deeper into the community in the morning to insure adequate turnover of bikes and reliable supply in the afternoon. The City should do what it can to encourage trips other than peak-direction commutes to make this a program that helps more than 25 people a day.