Portland Bike Share

Portland inked a deal with Nike to launch the “Biketown” system by July 2016. But the effort to bring bike share to Portland began way back in 2007. We’ve covered every twist and turn. Browse the archives below…

NW Portland is about to become one of the best bike-share areas on the continent

by on June 14th, 2016 at 11:26 am

NW Portland Week day 2-36.jpg
A bikeway crossroads: NW 14th and Johnson.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s most underperforming bike quadrant is about to get a very big investment.

Despite their proximity to jobs, northwest Portland residents are significantly less likely to bike-commute than residents of inner southeast, north or northeast Portland. And that’s exactly why Portland’s Biketown system is putting its biggest bet on northwest.

Today’s announcement of a final station map comes on the very same day that a state committee will start debating the fate of the first major bike project for northwest Portland in many years, arguably the key to getting inexperienced bike users comfortably across Interestate 405: the proposed Flanders Crossing bridge.


Should you buy a Biketown membership right now? Here’s the calculation

by on June 14th, 2016 at 7:29 am

hello biketown is here
There are a few scenarios to consider.
(Image: BIKETOWNpdx.com)

Now that we finally know the prices to use Portland’s new public bike sharing system, it’s time to start making a decision: What do you want to commit to?

Even broken out into $12 monthly payments, $144 a year is a pretty big commitment, though far cheaper than, say, an annual TriMet pass ($1,100). And unlike TriMet or most U.S. bike sharing systems, month-to-month passes apparently won’t be an option with Biketown. You can pay $12 for 24 hours or $12 each month for a year; nothing in between. Or you can put up $2.50 for a single ride any time you need one.

So what’s the best option for you? Here’s a short BikePortland guide to the $12-per-month decision.


Portland’s bike-sharing system just started selling memberships at $12 a month

by on June 14th, 2016 at 6:31 am

Screenshot 2016-06-14 at 6.21.52 AM
(Image: BIKETOWNpdx.com)

After 10 years, it’s happening.

Annual memberships in Portland’s city-owned, Nike-sponsored public bike sharing system went on sale at 6:20 a.m. Tuesday, and the 1,000-bike system to be known as Biketown will get one of North America’s largest-ever bike share launches on Tuesday, July 19.


Is Biketown bike share for all? Or only the able-bodied?

by on June 2nd, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Handcycle ride wth Ian Jaquiss
Hand-cycle riders like Ian Jaquiss won’t be able to use Portland’s bike share system.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland is launching a bike share program with 1,000 bikes. But what about people with who need to ride a hand-cycle or a recumbent or a trike due to a physical disability? Will they be able to use this new system?

That’s a question raised by city council candidate Chloe Eudaly just six weeks before Portland’s Nike-sponsored Biketown system is set to launch.

Community Cycling Center gets $75,000 grant to offer cheaper bike share memberships

by on May 11th, 2016 at 10:37 am

Portland bike share launch-11.jpg
Coming soon. And cheaper for some.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When Portland made its first attempt at bike share in 2011, concerns about equity gave local leaders pause. So when the City rebooted the idea they made sure it would be accessible to as many Portlanders as possible; rich and poor.

Now the nonprofit Community Cycling Center will add to those efforts thanks to a $75,000 grant they just earned from the Better Bike Share Partnership, a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, People for Bikes, and the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). The program, “strives to increase the accessibility and use of bike share in underserved communities.” The CCC’s award is one of nine grants totaling $532,000 that were announced today.

The CCC’s grant funding will be put toward a grassroots outreach and education effort that will start when the BIKETOWN bikes hit the streets in mid-July. The marketing initiative will be aimed at Portlanders living on low incomes. “In addition to offering very low-cost memberships through workshops, they will also use community feedback to improve and guide the system through launch and its first year of implementation,” reads a press release about the grants.

Bike share stations on transit mall and city parks land? TriMet says yes, Parks Bureau says no

by on April 5th, 2016 at 11:11 am

possible biketown station locations
Possible station locations downtown. No sites are proposed for Waterfront Park (the green strip on the left of the river).
(Image from the city’s feedback website)

Though other cities have seen some memorable freakouts about the prospect of bike sharing stations, Portland hasn’t yet heard many loud complaints that Biketown stations would begrime beloved public spaces.

TriMet, for example, said last week that although it doesn’t allow blue bike “staple” racks on its downtown transit mall (more on that below), it won’t have a problem with orange bikes being parked there.

But so far, there’s one major city department that’s been keeping its distance from bike sharing: Portland Parks and Recreation.


Portland’s bike share plan gives major leeway to private operator

by on March 23rd, 2016 at 10:06 am

Day on a bike in DC-41
A victim of success: A major challenge bike-sharing systems face is refilling stations when they run out of bikes. Portland will leave it up to its contractor to decide how often this happens.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Chalk up another way Portland is thinking outside the box on bike sharing, for better or worse: it’s giving an unusual amount of independence to its system’s operator.

What I learned at the City’s first open house for our new bike share system

by on March 16th, 2016 at 5:08 pm

PBOT brought a few of the bikes to the meeting.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The biggest thing to keep an eye one when it comes to Portland’s bike share system isn’t where the stations might go, it’s where they might not go. That’s one of the things I learned at the first open house for Biketown, the Nike-sponsored bike share system the Portland Bureau of Transportation is set to roll out about four months from now.

Last night’s event was one of five open houses that will take place between now and April 7th. PBOT will use them to solicit feedback for where to locate the system’s docking stations. As we reported earlier this month, the city has come up with 300 candidate station locations and they need to whittle that number down to 100.

The 300 proposed sites were chosen by a planning consultant hired by PBOT who worked with a technical advisory committee. They used a combination of factors to make their decisions including things like: access to transit, bike traffic demand, proximity to affordable housing and major destinations, and so on. The stations themselves will have 20 racks, be about 50 feet long and six feet wide.

With that as a backdrop, here’s what I took away from the open house last night…

First look at Portland’s expanded bike share service area and proposed station locations

by on March 9th, 2016 at 9:50 am

Bike share station location proposal and expanded service area map just released by the City of Portland.

With sponsorship all buttoned up, the next big phase of planning for Portland’s bike share system is where to put the docking stations. And with that aforementioned sponsorship, the City of Portland is in the enviable position of being able to expand Biketown before it’s even been launched.

We got our first look at the new maps — for both the proposed station locations and the service area – at the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee last night. (more…)

Gamification and ‘ubiquitous mobility’: Inside Portland’s $50 million ‘Smart City’ grant pitch

by on February 10th, 2016 at 9:36 am

mobile girls
The city’s plan includes a “Marketplace” mobile app that would let you plan and buy trips by every mode.
(Photo: M.Andersen)

Portland is one of 77 cities around the country that have put in for a one-time federal ‘Smart City’ grant that’s looking to promote big ideas about urban mobility.

An award is a long shot — only one city will get the $50 million prize — but the city’s application (which wraps together a wide variety of concepts for improving and integrating digital transportation data) is an education in itself, offering various details about the city’s vision that we haven’t seen publicly until now.