The Seattle native says she's equally passionate about alternative transportation, smart urban design, sustainable development and social justice.

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PUGET SOUND BIKE SHARE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Holly Houser

What do you do? I lead the nonprofit organization that will be launching bike share in Seattle later this year.

What made you decide to join Puget Sound Bike Share? As a Seattle native who’s equally passionate about alternative transportation, smart urban design, sustainable development and social justice, leading the effort to launch bike share was a perfect fit with both my interests and experience, which includes nonprofit leadership and commercial real estate development. As someone who rides a bike but doesn’t consider themselves a “cyclist,” one of the most exciting aspects of the bike share movement is its ability to challenge and alter common perceptions about biking — encouraging a shift from biking as a sport or pastime to biking as a form of affordable, easily accessible transportation.

What’s a typical day like? When you’re working to develop a program from the ground up, there’s no such thing as a typical day. There’s just a very clear end-goal — launching bike share in Seattle — and it’s my job to chip away at the steps to get there with as much wisdom, efficiency and collaboration as possible, ensuring that the process is just as successful as the result.

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There are partnerships to be created, funding to be identified, equipment to be ordered, legal and regulatory hurdles to be jumped, and most important, public input to listen and respond to. It can be overwhelming at times, but also exhilarating.

What’s the best part of the job? I get to interact with, learn from and be inspired by ridiculously smart, dedicated people who care passionately about improving our urban environment. In addition, it’s incredibly fulfilling to be part of a program that will significantly impact the way people get around and experience our city. The enthusiasm and excitement for bike share in our community is overwhelming!

What surprises people about your work? It always surprises me how many people assume that I’m constantly on a bike. In reality, I ride my bike to meetings just as often as I take the bus, walk, [use] Car2Go and sometimes even drive my own car! Improving transportation in Seattle is all about providing more options, and bike share is an option that’s convenient, healthy and affordable.

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