The vote by a Seattle City Council committee Tuesday on whether to save the Pronto bike-sharing program was initially announced as 3-3 but was actually 4-2 in favor of the rescue.

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The Seattle City Council should adopt a better way of voting, pronto.

Rather than raise their hands when the council’s transportation committee voted Tuesday on whether to rescue the Pronto bike-sharing program, the six council members present said “Aye,” or “No” into their microphones. Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who chairs the committee, announced the result as a 3-3 split.

O’Brien, Kshama Sawant and Rob Johnson voted to save Pronto, while Lisa Herbold, Tim Burgess and Debora Juarez voted against it, O’Brien’s office said afterward. That’s how The Seattle Times and other media outlets reported the result.


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Though Juarez didn’t contest O’Brien’s take at the time, she actually voted “Aye,” which means the real result was 4-2 in favor of buying the struggling bike-sharing program for $1.4 million. That’s what the council’s official record now shows.

With a 3-3 tie, the plan to rescue Pronto would have gone to the full council March 14 with no recommendation from the committee. The 4-2 result means there will be a recommendation that the full council vote to prop up the program.

“I made a mistake,” O’Brien said in an interview Thursday, explaining that he got the Juarez vote wrong.

Earlier in the meeting, Juarez had supported a Burgess proposal that the city pursue a new public-private partnership rather than buying Pronto.

Mayor Ed Murray last fall included $5 million in this year’s budget for the city to take over and expand Pronto, but the council put that allocation on hold at the time.

The ordinance headed to the full council would release $1.4 million of the $5 million.