Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 1st, 2015 at 12:00 pm
Portland has won a grant related to bike share — but the news isn’t what you might expect.
The Better Bike Share Partnership, a collaboration between The City of Philadelphia, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and PeopleForBikes, announced $375,000 in grants this morning all aimed at furthering the group’s mission to “increase access to and use of bike share in underserved communities.”
The money was divided among six cities: Brooklyn, Charlotte, Boston, Austin, Chicago, and Portland. All of those cities — except Portland — will use the money to improve their existing bike share systems. Here in Portland of course, we don’t have a bike share system to improve. Instead, our $74,986 slice of this grant pie will go toward research that will benefit Philadelphia’s bike share system.
Oh, the irony.
Here are the details of Portland’s winning project (which really seems like Philadelphia’s project):
Equity Outcomes and Potential for Better Bike Share
Researchers at Portland State University will collect and examine data such as perceptions of bike share, barriers to use, success of specific interventions to increase use, and the impact of station siting decisions in Philadelphia’s Indego Bike Share System. The key deliverable is a report that will help new and existing bike share systems identify and implement interventions that will help them reach and engage more riders.
Of course, there will likely be takeaways from the PSU research that will help Portland’s system (if it ever gets launched). And we need the help on this issue judging from the equity debate that caught fire during Metro funding negotiations back in 2011.
And in case you’re still interested (we won’t blame you if you’re already over it), the Portland Bureau of Transportation is now firmly committing to a 2016 bike share launch date. They aren’t giving any details about sponsors or system type; but despite the many years of delays, PBOT isn’t backing away from its bike share promise.
And there’s still a chance we could win some cash from the Better Bike Share Partnership. Today’s round of grants are just the first in a $900,000 funding cycle that will be administered over the next three years.