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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.

As city preps for public bike share, it weighs rules for a private competitor

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on September 9th, 2015 at 5:37 pm

spinlister parking
Will the bikes keep circulating?
PBOT thinks it’s important that they do.
(Image: Screen grab from Spinlister video)

Fourth in our four-post series about bike sharing in Portland.

Portland’s prospects for a public bike share system are looking as good as they ever have. Three of the city’s five council members said Wednesday that they’re excited to back a bike share deal, and a staffer for a fourth told us the proposal “looks great so far.”

Meanwhile, a different launch still seems to be in the works: a completely private bike-sharing system, a new product scheduled to be tested here in Portland by the peer-to-peer bike rental firm Spinlister.

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Four ways Portland’s new bike share plan could flop

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on September 9th, 2015 at 12:05 pm

portland-bike-share-bike
It’s coming. Finally. But will it work?
(Renderings via City of Portland)

Third in a four-post series today about bike sharing in Portland.

Earlier today, we wrote about why Portland’s three-year bike share delay could accidentally make its system one of the smartest in the country.

Now, let’s look at the biggest ways the system could, if approved next week, totally fail.

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Long-delayed Portland bike share rose from the dead. Here’s why that might make it better

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on September 9th, 2015 at 8:19 am

Bike share demo-9-8
A 2011 bike share demo in Portland. The city has scrapped its 2012 plan and is rebooting with a unique set of new ideas.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland unless noted)

Second in a four-post series today about bike sharing in Portland.

There’s a case to be made against Portland’s new bike share plan. But that’s coming in a few hours.

First, let’s consider a more interesting argument: the possibility that because of its three-year series of mishaps, Portland could wind up with a much better system than it would have without them.

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Portland overhauls bike share plan, braces to launch with or without a sponsor

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on September 9th, 2015 at 5:00 am

Buddysbike
Next week, Portland will consider a contract to put 600 “smart bikes” like this one (from Orlando’s Juice system) on the street by next July at no cost to the city.
(Photo: City of Orlando)

First in a four-post series today about bike sharing in Portland.

Nine years after being one of the first U.S. cities to float the concept, the City of Portland plans to announce today that it’s finally ready to launch a public bike sharing system.

The key to the plan, which would be required to launch by July 2016: the city is planning to skip a generation of bike-sharing technology and launch a system that uses “smart bikes” with built-in GPS and self-locking mechanisms. The revised system would be 20 percent smaller but about 55 percent cheaper than the one the city originally planned.

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At Portland event, Spinlister CEO touts plan for private bike-share system

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on May 1st, 2015 at 9:56 am

spinlister ceo
Spinlister CEO Marcelo Loureiro, center, with two other
“sharing economy” executives at OMSI Thursday for
a Tech Fest Northwest panel.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

The user-owned bike share system due to launch in Portland in September says that participants won’t have to pump the tires in any bikes shared on their network.

That was one of several tidbits shared Thursday by the CEO of Spinlister, the Santa Monica-based peer-to-peer platform that is planning a first-of-its-kind bike sharing pilot program in Portland.

As BikePortland reported in March, Spinlister says it will buy a line of custom “Smart Bikes,” give them to selected Portlanders for free, and let them float freely around the Portland area like so many car2gos.

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Next-gen bike sharing company Social Bicycles swings through Portland

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on March 13th, 2015 at 12:15 pm

justin with bike
Justin Wiley, Social Bicycles’ VP of Launch
and Operations, at Velo Cult in
Northeast Portland last week.
(Photo: Lizbon Grav)

Social Bicycles, maybe the country’s fastest-growing bike sharing company right now, sent one of its top executives on a swing through Portland last weekend.

SoBi, as it’s sometimes known, has scored contracts to equip public bike sharing systems in Phoenix, Tampa, Topeka, Boise, Orlando, Ottawa, Hamilton and Santa Monica. The company’s key innovation: “smart bikes” that can be parked anywhere inside a service zone, whether or not they’re at a dock.

Like most business development trips, the visit wasn’t publicized. But it certainly caught my attention last Friday when SoBi Vice President of Launch and Operations Justin Wiley walked into bike shop/bar Velo Cult with a SoBi bike.

“We are spending a lot of time on the road this year meeting with partners and potential clients to demo the product,” Ryan Rzepecki, CEO of the the New York-based bike sharing company, explained Thursday. “Recently, we made a quick visit to Portland to meet with a transportation planning consultant and a large employer that is interested in a private bike share.”

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Spinlister to launch user-owned bike-sharing system in Portland this summer (updated)

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on March 13th, 2015 at 7:51 am

Back in 2011, when she cast the lone vote against Portland’s still-unimplemented public bike sharing system, Commissioner Amanda Fritz asked a fair question: If bike sharing is such a good idea, why doesn’t the private sector do it?

It’s taken a little while. But with what looks to be a well-funded launch in Portland this summer, the company Spinlister is trying a novel idea for doing exactly that with their Smart Bike model.

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Portland’s low-car transportation web ranks 7th nationally, study says

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on February 5th, 2015 at 11:40 am

abundant choices
Image by the Frontier Group and U.S. PIRG.

When the news went around last year that Helsinki was planning to “make car ownership pointless within 10 years,” it was misread in some quarters as a plan to remove cars completely from the Finnish capital.

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Now one of few large U.S. cities without bike sharing, Portland sets a new date

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on January 23rd, 2015 at 10:03 am

Downtown Riverside, CA
Downtown Riverside, Calif., the center of the
country’s 13th largest metro area and a city planning
to launch a bike sharing system in 2015.
(Photo: Daniel Orth)

By the end of 2015, it’s looking like 21 of the largest 25 U.S. metro areas are likely to have public bike share systems.

The four that won’t: Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis and Portland.

Los Angeles, by far the country’s largest holdout, announced this month that it’s on track to launch a system in 2016. Atlanta, Baltimore and Riverside, Calif., have plans to launch in 2015 but haven’t announced more specific dates.

Meanwhile, four other cities started service late last year or will in the next few months: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle.

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Eugene bike share system lands near top of state grant list

Michael Andersen (News Editor) by on January 9th, 2015 at 9:22 am

Bike share demo-9-8
A demo of bike share equipment in Portland, 2011.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

It’s looking likely that Eugene will be Oregon’s first city with a public bike sharing system.

After being put on ice last summer after it narrowly missed the cut for lottery-funded “Connect Oregon” grants, Eugene’s bike sharing hopes surged back in December when unallocated funds gave applicants a second chance at the coveted state grants.

On Wednesday the state’s top stakeholder committee recommended a Eugene bike share system as their #2 priority statewide for the new round of money.

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