Posted by Michael Andersen (Contributor) on March 6th, 2015 at 8:00 am
After a member survey found huge overlap between car2go users and bicycle users in Portland, the carsharing service car2go has now added rear bike racks to half of its 500-car local fleet.
Portland is the first city to get the racks, which are set up in such a way that the rear tailgate of the car2go can’t open on cars that have the racks. (The rear window, however, can still be opened.)
Car2go’s user survey had found that Portland respondents were intensely multimodal. Sixty-eight percent biked at least once per week, and 37 percent biked five to seven times a week. That’s presumably why 76 percent said they’d like to see bike racks on at least half of the local fleet.
The racks can fit up to two bikes each. Here’s how they work:
To find out which cars have a bike rack, you can open car2go’s mobile app or website and either tap or hover over nearby cars until you see one with the words “bike rack” in its title.
The fact that half the fleet now has a rack means that most bike users inside car2go’s home area should be able to easily bike to a car with a rack.
“Car2go’s exciting announcement adds another fantastic arrow to Portland’s vast quiver of transportation choices,” Portland Active Transportation Division Manager Margi Bradway is quoted as saying in car2go’s news release.
The release also quoted car2go location manager Ken Hills as saying the racks would “help maintain Portland’s spot as the #1 bike-friendly city in North America.”
Though it’s likely that if the racks get substantial use in Portland they’ll be introduced in other cities, Car2go spokeswoman Dacyl Armendariz said Wednesday that her colleagues “don’t have a timeline for additional cities at this time.”
One person seemingly not charmed by car2go’s new feature is Austin-based inventor Ryan Battle, who (as we reported in 2013) designed a backpack-friendly bike rack for car2go but was publicly repudiated by car2go officials, who said his racks violated car2go terms of service as well as car2go’s insurance at the time. A car2go spokeswoman told us that the company would suspend users from the service if they used Battle’s rack.
“Congrats to @car2goportland for their bike rack pilot,” Battle tweeted icily last November, after our coverage. “car2go position of bikes flying off cars sounds a bit silly now.”
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.