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Portland bicycle industry worth $63M

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 15th, 2006 at 12:29 pm

[Cover of summary
brochure.]

A consulting firm hired by the City of Portland Office of Transportation just completed an economic analysis of Portland's bicycle industry. The final numbers say that our bicycle-related industry is worth $63 million to Portland's regional economy (which has a total value of $17 billion) and that bicycles account for 800 jobs.

Download report summary (PDF)

The survey was given to more than 100 businesses, varying in size from a one-man shop to companies with 50-100 employees. They were asked four questions related to:

  • gross revenue related to bicycles,
  • growth in revenues over the past decade,
  • the effect of Portland's bike-friendly reputation on business, and
  • how the bicycle-related activities of the City could help grow their business.


According to the survey, when asked whether Portland's reputation for bike friendliness was good for their business, 82% said "absolutely" or "yes".

Cross Crusade #2 - Alpenrose Dairy, Portland OR
[Based in Portland.]

This survey breaks down the economic impact into four main industry segments. Here are the findings from each of them:

    Tours, Rides, Races, and Events
    On an annual basis, an estimated 40,000 people participate in more than 2,100 rides and events of various lengths and sizes, an average of more than six per day. These events bring in more than $7 million annually to Portland’s local economy.

    Professional Services
    Professional services include bicycle delivery services ($2.5 million),companies (e.g., Alta Planning + Design) and organizations (e.g., the Bicycle Transportation Alliance) focusing entirely on bicycle issues (40 staff, $2.5 million annually), and creative entreprenuers ($540,000).

    Manufacturing
    Portland has a growing $11.6 million in manufacturing and distribution activity, including a number of small-scale, independent, high-end bicycle and part manufacturers, such as Sacha White (Vanilla Bicycles) and Ira Ryan (Ira Ryan Cycles) as well as larger companies like Kinesis, Mountain Cycle, and Chris King Precision Components. Companies such as United Pipe Bending and Fabrication and Huntco Supply, which each have a portion of their businesses producing bicycle racks, report growth over the past decade.

    Retail and Repair

    Close to 40 Portland specialty bike, bike clothing/gear, and rental shops report close to $34 million in gross revenue. Most shops have experienced growth in the past decade, and many shops are less than five years old. In addition, consumers buy an
    estimated $3.8 million worth of bicycles and accessories at larger discount, department, and toy stores.

Mia Birk, principal of consulting firm Alta Planning, says the $63 million figure is "by no means a conclusive number", and that, "there is a clear need to delve deeper into the economic impact of bicycles in Portland."

Another interesting stat from the report is their finding that Portland has nearly 2,100 bike rides and events each year that bring in about 40,000 people.

For more on Portland's bicycle industry, check out my industry links and peruse the 35 articles in my Industry category.

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  • Vigilante June 15, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    Portland's bicycle industry is priceless.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • [...] We’re in the midst of the largest and craziest Pedalpalooza ever, we’re now a legit part of the economy, it’s the eve of our first-ever Bike Summit (with over 300 registered so far), and today the Oregonian is chock-full of bike coverage. [...]

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  • [...] Mia Birk, principal at Alta Planning and Design (and former Bike Program manager for PDOT) presented her firm’s recent research to Mayor Potter and Commissioners Adams, Leonard, Sten and Saltzman. Lining up to testify and show support of this resolution were myself, Bike Gallery owner Jay Graves, Bill Stites of Stites Design, BTA Director Evan Manvel, the CCC’s new Director of Development and Communications Alison Hill, and Chris Smith from Portland Transport. [...]

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • [...] There is a lot of buzz in Portland right now about the local bicycle industry. In recent weeks, spurred on by Transportation Commissioner Sam Adams, we have created our first-ever economic survey of Portland’s bicycle industry, held a bike business forum at our city-wide Bike Summit, passed an official City resolution to target the bicycle industry and held a successful show of local bicycle builders at City Hall. [...]

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  • [...] Former bicycle coordinator Mia Birk, who is now a nationally recognized bike and pedestrian planning consultant and principal of Alta Planning, will take part in two workshops including, the Economic Impact of Bicycling in Wisconsin and Portland, Oregon (read about her bicycle-related industry survey), and The Evolution of Two Walkable/Bikeable Cities: Boulder, CO and Portland, OR. [...]

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