Seattle’s dockless electrical bicycle program is the largest shared urban transportation outlet in the United States. Reportedly, one quarter of all rental bikes are based within the Seattle metropolitan region. The city launched the program during the summer of 2017 following a failed pilot experiment between 2014-2016. The objectives behind this modified program remain to enable fluid mobility, reduce car congestion and emissions, and offer commuters, residents and visitors an affordable and easily accessible transportation alternative.
The absence of centralize docking stations has spread the availability of rental bikes citywide.
There remains an essential nuisance accentuated by this random placement method and the questionable locations employed by riders following the conclusion of their rental. Despite efforts to retrieve, repair, and relocate equipment to desirable reuse locations by the participating bike suppliers, a significant amount of inventory remains irreparably damaged and/or indiscriminately abandoned in isolated locations.
Photographer Marques Vickers tracks down with his camera lens some of the more distinctive and absurd landing spots. His imaginative Photoshop manipulation further accentuates some of this excess disposal disregard.
As thousands of fresh lime green, yellow and orange bikes infiltrate city sidewalks, hiking trails, beaches, drainage ditches, and even water bodies, questions abound regarding the program’s long-term sustainability and practicality. The dockless bike share program began in three major Chinese cities during 2015 and is currently proliferating throughout American and global communities.
The experiment continues as an attractive offering due to its minimally required investment by city planners. The question persists however whether this flawed but popular transportation mode is worth the accompanying inconveniences and is financially profitable.
Dockless bicycle programs have become private industry gifts to cities…with strings attached.