Spin, the operator of Seattle’s dwindling bright orange bicycles, is shutting down service in the city.
The news comes a few weeks after Ofo announced it will be pulling its yellow bikes from the Seattle market. That leaves just Lime. The three companies were permitted to operate under a year-long pilot program launched last summer.
In July, the Seattle City Council approved a fee structure for its permanent bikeshare program. Going forward, up to four bikeshare companies will be allowed to operate in Seattle if each pays an annual permit fee of $250,000. So far, Lime is the only taker.
Spin cited the fee as a reason for leaving Seattle in a statement provided to GeekWire. Ofo also said the fee drove the decision to depart. But there are greater forces at work for both companies. Ofo began laying off most of its U.S. workforce and shutting down in cities across the company before Seattle approved its new fee. Spin, meanwhile, has been transitioning to the electric scooter business.
“As SDOT formulated the new permit rules, we had hoped the requirements would allow scooters,” a Spin spokesperson said. “We also expressed our concerns about the proposed requirement that all operators pay a flat fee of $250,000.”
Free-floating, shared electric scooters are not permitted in Seattle and SDOT does not have plans to create a program for the mobility service in the near future.
In the meantime, Lime will enjoy bikeshare dominance in Seattle unless other companies get in the game.
Spin’s departure was first reported by Curbed.