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Bike Sharing

Portland has been studying the prospect of a bike-sharing system for several years. We’ve covered it every step of the way. Browse our previous coverage below and click a headline to read the full story.

NYC investment company buys Alta Bicycle Share, hires former transit CEO

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Bike share ride with Oregon team-1
DC’s Capital Bikeshare system was a hit – a bigger one, it turned out, than an independently owned Alta Bicycle Share had the capacity to capitalize on.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

You might have heard by now: A local bike business that bootstrapped its way to the national stage, and then suffered a dizzying series of problems, has sold.

Alta Bicycle Share, a startup that unexpectedly became much larger than the bike planning company that birthed it after launching popular and successful systems in Boston and Washington DC, announced Tuesday that it has been purchased by New York City real estate developer REQX Ventures.

Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed. In July, the Wall Street Journal pegged the deal at $40 million, but it’s not clear whether any of that money went to Alta’s founders or will be invested directly into the company. It’s also not clear whether Alta’s six cofounders (including local executive and former Portland bicycle coordinator Mia Birk) retain any ownership in the firm.

(more…)

Q&A: How bikes meet tech in Austin, Portland’s chillest sister city

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
spokeqa
Nate McGuire of Austin bike-tech startup Spokefly.
(Photo by Michael Andersen/BikePortland)

Nate McGuire is part of two worlds that Austin, Texas, is still pretty new at: digital entrepreneurship and biking.

His startup, Spokefly, uses a mobile app and combination U-locks to turn people’s underused bicycles into income-generating shared bikes that float around the city until their owners need them. (At that point, the company will fetch it and deliver it home.) Though it’s not yet available in Portland, he’s preparing to launch in a handful of cities soon and was in town last week to scope our city out.

When he stopped by BikePortland’s office for a talk, we saw a perfect chance to hear more about biking and related issues in one of the U.S. cities that Portland most resembles in size, culture and reputation.

(more…)

TriMet adds new Beaverton Creek bike parking after Nike bike share takes off

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Beaverton Creek - staple bike racks
Quite a lineup of bike parking near the platform.
(Photos courtesy TriMet)

TriMet has doubled its public bike racks at Beaverton Creek MAX Station after the popularity of Nike’s new corporate bike share system swamped the station’s staples.

In May, we shared the news that bike parking at the light rail stop was sometimes being overwhelmed by the red bikes now being used by the sportswear maker’s workers as they headed to and from the company’s nearby headquarters.

(more…)

Nike launches on-campus bike share system

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
With baskets, cargo racks and step-through
crossbars, Nike’s bike share system is almost Dutch.
(Submitted photo)

For a thriving sportswear giant, Nike has seemed oddly unplugged from the active transportation revolution of the last decade. But this week, things changed a little in its Beaverton backyard.

The fast-growing company is following many companies that operate on suburban campuses by launching a corporate bike share system that’ll help employees zip among its buildings, according to a reader familiar with Nike’s campus.

The reader, who asked to remain anonymous, explained the basics of the system in an email earlier this week, adding at the time that it was “not up and running yet.”

I snagged this pic (link above) yesterday of a station at the Mia Hamm building. Each bike has a number and a lock associated with it. Here’s how it works:

(more…)

Five new bike ideas from other places that Oregon could steal

Monday, April 14th, 2014
Share the Road - North Plains
Time for Oregon to stop “Share the Road”? (This sign is on NW West Union in North Plains, a small city in Washington County.)
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Over the last week or so, a bunch of great ideas from other cities have been washing up on our digital shorelines. Let’s take a look at a few.

(more…)

Alta Bicycle Share teams up with former PBSC tech provider

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

In a big move that will impact bike sharing in the United States and beyond, Portland-based Alta Bicycle Share has announced a new “strategic partnership” with 8D Technologies.

8D is the company that formerly worked closely with the Public Bicycle System Company (PBSC, a.k.a. Bixi), the Montreal based company that filed for bankruptcy late last month. Alta uses the PBSC platform in the many bike share systems they operate and manage around the country and some of those systems (in Boston and Washington D.C.) are operated with software developed by 8D Technologies.

But the relationship between 8D and PBSC soured when PBSC began to export their successful Bixi system to the U.S. while allegedly secretly developing their own software and cutting 8D out of the picture. In April 2012 8D sued PBSC for breach of contract. (more…)

University of Oregon prepares to launch bike share system

Monday, January 13th, 2014
Proposed bike share stations on the University
of Oregon campus are marked in red.
(Image: UO.)

With its bike parking spaces crammed and its long-term bike loan program booked solid, the University of Oregon is preparing to add a four-station bicycle sharing system on its Eugene campus.

The cities of Eugene and Bend, meanwhile, are considering municipal systems of their own.

“We really can’t meet the demand for the bikes that we have on campus,” said Briana Orr, a university staffer who manages UO’s $30-per-term bike library, which has 100 bikes in its fleet. “We’re trying to find a way to serve more students and still provide a really high-quality bike, and keep the costs low.”

(more…)

The Oregonian Editorial Board on Portland’s “risky bike share venture”

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

“Bike sharing isn’t essential, and a bike-sharing system with unexpected complications requiring city subsidies would undermine the public’s confidence in the city’s ability to set priorities and manage money.”
— Oregonian Editorial Board, December 21st, 2013.

With a big announcement about the Portland Bike Share system likely to come this month, The Oregonian Editorial Board is making it clear where they stand. Portland’s risky bike-share venture is the title of their editorial that ran on the front page of the opinion section on December 21st.

The piece reflects the opinion of the members of the O’s editorial board: Mark Hester, Erik Lukens, Susan Nielsen, Len Reed and David Sarasohn. As our bike share system gets closer to reality, we’ll be watching closely how the local media tries to frame the narrative around the project. After all, the project has all the components of a media freakout: the concept (at least on this scale) is unprecedented in Portland, bike share is usually misunderstood by people that haven’t used it (just like cycling in general), it’s an idea first championed by former Mayor Sam Adams, and it involves bicycling. (more…)

Bill would make bike-sharing benefits tax-deductible (updated)

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Bike share demo-9-8
Not considered public transit by the IRS. Yet.
(Photo by J.Maus/BikePortland)

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer is cosponsoring a bill to officially recognize bike sharing as the newest category of public transit, at least in the eyes of the IRS.

Unfortunately, the bill is limited by a persistent oversight in tax policy that restricts its benefits to those who both live and work in areas that have bikesharing stations.

It’s a new goal for the city transportation commissioner turned Congressman, who spent years pushing for the IRS’s first bike commuting benefit. The $20-a-month deduction finally passed as part of the 2008 bank bailout (despite Blumenauer’s “no” vote on that package).

(more…)

10 key details from Portland’s bike share proposal and contract

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
A rendering by Alta Bicycle Share of a future Portland
bike share station at downtown’s Director Park.

As public bike share systems continue to become standard public services in cities around the country, we figured it was time to learn more about what’s in store for Portland.
(more…)

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