Two of Seattle’s new bike-sharing services are making their bicycles more accessible to folks without a smartphone or credit card.
Spin announced today that it is rolling out Spin Access, a program that lets users buy prepaid cards at retail locations and unlock bikes by texting a code to a dedicated phone number. Customers can visit the Bike Works shop in Columbia City to purchase a card; riders with valid ORCA LIFT cards will get a 50 percent discount.
LimeBike announced something similar this past Friday with Cash for LimeBike. Users can visit LimeBike’s Seattle office at 3625 Interlake Ave. N to load their account with a cash payment; they can then access bicycles across the city. LimeBike is looking to add more locations where folks can add credit to their account.
Spin and LimeBike charge $1 per 30 minutes of riding. Both companies have more than 500 bicycles on Seattle’s streets since they launched last month as part of a six-month pilot program.
Beijing-based Ofo also just rolled out its bike-sharing service in the Emerald City; a fourth service, Dallas-based VBikes, is set to launch in Seattle soon. The city has become a key market for these services, which use stationless bicycles that don’t require docking stations, to prove themselves before rolling out nationally across the U.S.
Other smartphone-powered transportation solutions like Uber and Lyft also offer ways for customers to hail rides without a smartphone. Both services also let people pay with PayPal.