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Bike-share pioneers come full circle with Pacific University rental program

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on November 5th, 2008 at 12:44 pm

One of the Pacific ReCycles bikes.
(Photo: Pacific University)

Back in 1994, the Northeast Portland-based Community Cycling Center helped get Portland's infamous Yellow Bikes program off the ground. The CCC donated bikes to kick-off the program and later became an official co-sponsor.

The Yellow Bike program only lasted for about a year before the bikes vanished and it became nothing more than a piece of urban history. Now, the CCC is backing a program that is similar in spirit, but much different in execution.

Communications director Alison Hill-Graves tells me that they've helped set up a loaner bike program at Pacific University in Forest Grove. The Pacific ReCycles bike program offers students commuter worthy bikes for rent by the month ($50), semester ($75), or year ($100).

All the bikes have been built up by the CCC using salvaged and refurbished parts and they come with a service plan provided by a local bike shop.

Back in July the CCC began a similar project at the Lake Oswego campus of communications firm Waggener Edstrom. For that program, the CCC provided two bikes for staff use as well as tools to maintain them and a commuter workshop.

Alison Hill-Graves says the CCC might be doing more of these projects in the future because they want to encourages workplaces to support bicyclists. Calling it a "more mature Yellow Bikes program", Hill-Graves says they'd like to hear if other businesses would be interested in a program like this.

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  • John Lascurettes November 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Wow, that's quite the price break. $50/mo but only $100/yr. I assume that's a school year, but still, that's quite the savings over renting per month.

    I hope it works out. Something like this would have been invaluable when I was in college.

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  • red hippie November 5, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    a corporate lease/service model is a really cool idea. I have tried to float the idea of having a few bikes for downtown jaunts, but the issue of maintenance is pretty important. If a service would provide a bike, regular service and an on-call emergency service, then the company would only have to pay a monthly fee for the bike and the logistics would be much simplified.

    The key seems to be getting enough customers to justify the service component. Maybe they could have service agreements with local shops for simple things like flat tires.

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  • John Lascurettes November 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Red Hippie, maybe the just handle it the same way that Zip Car handles paying for Gas. They provide the fuel card and the user pays no money. They also have emergency service provided.

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  • toddistic November 6, 2008 at 10:32 am

    That's awesome! I was involved in the first bike commute challenge at Pacific University when I worked there. Glad to see their bike program expanding!

    My employer recently just added two Electra Amsterdam bikes for checkout for quick errands downtown.

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