It hasn’t taken long for Portland to embrace bike share. Just 24 hours after it launched yesterday Biketown is already getting lots of praise from users on social media and in the streets. And the initial statistics back up the enthusiasm.
Not everyone is a fan of course, but I’ve visited a few dozen stations already and everyone I’ve talked to has had a positive reaction. Now we have our first glimpse of data to see how the system is doing.
According to numbers released by Biketown’s operator Motivate Inc. today (at our request), there have been 2,366 trips taken on the system since it was launched yesterday at 11:30 am.
Here are the numbers in more detail (as of 11:00 am or so) along with some other fun stats:
Trips taken: 2227
Trips per bike: 2.30
Average Trip Length: 1.63 miles
Average Trip Duration: 22 minutes
Miles traveled: 3,623 miles
It’s still very early and the numbers will get more useful once we’ve got a full month of data — but we can’t resist doing a bit of comparison.
So far Portland’s bikes get more rides per day than the ones in Minneapolis’ Nice Ride system got after five years in service. Nice ride, which has much lower station density that Portland, got 1.6 trips per bike per day on average in 2014 (source: NACTO). On the other end of the scale, Chicago’s Divvy bike share system and Citi Bike in New York City got 3.8 and 5.2 trips per bike in that year, respectively.
From a membership perspective, Biketown seems to be doing quite well. 1,252 annual memberships have been sold since they went on sale June 14th. Contrast that with Seattle’s bike share system which had 1,154 members at the end of its first full month post-launch.
Dani Simons, director of communications for Biketown’s operator Motivate Inc., said they’re happy with the initial numbers. “It was a strong first day in terms of ridership and we look forward to trying to build from here.”
How is Biketown treating you? We’re following many different bike share story threads and we’d love to hear your feedback. Feel free to email, Tweet, text or whatever else to share your thoughts. And follow our ongoing Biketown coverage here and on Twitter @BikePortland.
NOTE: We updated the 24-hour data on this post at 1:20 pm July 21st after we received more detailed numbers from Motivate. Sorry for any confusion.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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How about vandalism? Anyone noticing anything fishy? When I arrived at the N Williams and N Fremont station this morning at about 8:55am, 15 of the 17 bikes docked had flat rear tires. I couldn’t tell of the tires were slashed or not, but the valve caps were still on the valves.
that really stinks Amanda. Someone clearly let the air out and/or punctured those tires. I hope Biketown staff gets that sorted out quickly. I haven’t seen much. One bike at the N Killingsworth/Albina station had a lock that was wedged into the bike and it wouldn’t unlock. Other than that haven’t seen much vandalism. I hope people begin to respect the system. I could envision someone getting caught by the police. When that happens you can bet the local media will run the story and that should remind people that it’s a crime to mess with!
Yeah, it’s a bummer! I also hope people would have more respect, this is a big step for our city, as I’m sure you know. I did report it to BIKETOWN, but I wondered about asking New Seasons Williams if they caught it on video – there are so many cameras outside of NSM. Thanks for the coverage, Jonathan!
> I also hope people would have more respect
I’ve seen a handful of baskets with cigarette butts in them.
People think cigarette butts can just be tossed anywhere. I was behind a Washington Park truck as I was riding past the zoo and watched the driver flick a butt out onto the road. Have some pride in your own park! Sheesh.
It’s seemed to me that one of the demographics Portland’s attracted in recent years is smokers. Lots and lots of smokers. Cough.
Ubiquitous street smoking/vaping is a downside to banning them inside. It bothers me a lot too. Not sure what a realistic solution would be.
I completely agree, there seems to be an absolute spike. A few joints like Migration Brewing are erecting signs saying they are proudly smoke free, they just earned my loyalty. Too many times I’ll roll up to a place where the “patio” smoke is wafting indoors or being trapped by patio covers. Despite living on the west coast I’m having flashbacks to smoky college bars when I studied in Iowa back in the early 90s. So much for progress…
Yes–it all just winds up inside again, doesn’t it? Sigh. I sometimes feel like I’ll never escape it, esp. in summer. Restaurants and bars leave doors open, have a bunch of tables outside with “do not smoke” signs on them where smokers sit and smoke and all the smoke gets sucked inside the ‘smoke-free’ space. lop’s right that the indoor smoking ban drove smokers outside, but there are also more smokers. I’ve really seen the numbers go up in recent years, and the saucinesss–belligerence and territoriality. I get the idea many smokers feel they OWN outdoor spaces now. My walks through downtown feature so many detours because of gaggles of smokers and the ubiquitous walking smokers, it sometimes takes awhile to get to my destination. Feels like every corner you turn, someone’s lighting up.
I rode one up the hill to OHSU this am. It was fun but I had to stop periodically because the seat post clamp was too loose. The nexus drivetrain also failed to shift up and slipped constantly. Then again, I’ve never had a good experience with IGHs…
remember that with IGH you should shift when you AREN’T putting torque on the drivetrain. Stop pedaling for a second and then shift and you’ll have a smoother shift.
Ah…will try again on the way home!
I’ve never had any gears that would shift under load… always do the 1/2 second skip to let them slip into gear, internal or otherwise…
my drive trains have shifted well under load for decades (although doing so is poor spinning technique).
Thanks for riding!
Tony makes a good point that with the internal hub gearing you *don’t* want to pedal when shifting.
If you’re having a maintenance problem with the bike, when you finish your trip please press the wrench button on the keypad and select the problem. It will disable the bike and send a message to BIKETOWN HQ to get the bike fixed.
When I’m logged in I can look at a map of individual trips I take. Can there be a way for someone logged in to overlay all of their trips on a map? I know I can download the data and do it myself, but it would be nice if I didn’t have to.
Are you sure it ws the IGH that was slipping and not the drive due to flex under torque?
it would fail to shift and “click-click” when i was spinning without any torque at all — akin to a conventional derailleur with very messed up indexing. i suspect the issue was indexing since it typically required shifting up 2-3 clicks to get it to shift up at all.
That sounds consistent with the inadequate cable tension problems others have reported. I hope that’s what the problem was since it would be a real shame if there were a design or manufacturing flaw affecting many bikes.
I encountered a lot of the bikes on my way home tonight — looked like real use as opposed to curiosity about the system. They appear to operate pretty smoothly. Hopefully that wlll still be true after some real use is logged.
The few bikes I rode also would randomly shift without me touching them. Come to think of it, so did the Divvy bikes in Chicago…
Yea, that sounds like a poorly adjusted shifter.
@soren. I’ve ridden 5 different Biketown bikes now. 4 of the 5 had shifter cables that were too loose. Quickly dealt with by slightly adjusting cable tension with the barrel-adjuster on the shifter, but something the assemblers/mechanics should’ve caught.
Could be that somebody else futzed with the barrel adjuster after it was put into use.
of the 4 bikes that i road today 2 had seat post clamps that would not hold and 3 had indexing problems. i did manage to get one of the bikes to shift crisply by turning the barrel adjuster counterclockwise 3 full turns (which is ridiculous).
interestingly the bike that i adjusted shifted cleanly under load (such as it is on this type of bike).
Or maybe the break-in stretch on the new cables?
Maybe BT pouched bike assemblers from the local Target and Kmart retail stores.
Jonathan, have you asked Motivate for a map of all the rides taken since it opened? I was pleased to see a map of my own ride on the app when I finished and it’d be very interesting to see them all overlaid together.
ditto. I’d love to see this or hack on it. There are a ton of GIS nerds in Portland who would probably be good at playing with it.
I’d love to see something similar to this… http://toddwschneider.com/posts/a-tale-of-twenty-two-million-citi-bikes-analyzing-the-nyc-bike-share-system/
I wonder if they could install cameras at the stations?
I work in Chinatown, and took a walk on the waterfront during lunch. They were SWARMING, looked like a lot of happy tourists. I’m hopeful more people will choose these over those godforsaken 4 person bikes.
I was stuck at a 4-way stop in the Pearl waiting for a whole fleet of Segway riders to cross in the crosswalk one at a time in a long line, not one of them looking to see if anyone else wanted to use the intersection. I’m not sure at what point you ought to stop pretending to be a pedestrian, but maybe it’s when you’re cruising along on an electric machine at 10 miles an hour.
Sorry, got sidetracked. I’d rather see people on bikes than on Segways.
Are those segway tours that stick together really so different from group bike rides that stick together?
Admittedly, I’m not a fan of that either. Last time I rode the Portland Century, there seemed to be an expectation that I call out ‘clear’ at intersections so people behind me could ride through without stopping. But I think everyone should stop and look for themselves, and cross in small groups (i.e. side by side). If I’m following a friend in a car, should I roll through every intersection behind them without stopping?
I agree, however first we need biketown and PBOT to allow people under 18 to ride them. I see many families writing those 4 person bikes.
I am kind of sad that I cannot let my kids ride them even though they are perfectly capable of handling a bike this size.
TOTALLY agree, Scott!
I had a textbook alt transportation experience. Having left my own bike at the office, I exited the building on the transit mall. I then walked several blocks to the World Trade Center Biketown station. On the way, I passed the electric car charging station. Having used the Biketown app, I found a bike, quickly unlocked it and was on my way, riding down the “Better Naito” temporary roadway. I crossed the Steel Bridge via the walkway, climbed the hill and proceeded along the Max line, finally turning north to reach the docking station at Peets Coffee in Irvington. I’d say the experience overall was very good. The app and website work easily. Getting a bike out of the dock was simple and fast. The bike itself proved smooth to ride and a little janky on the shifting, but tolerable. It was great to have a map “receipt” upon completion on the phone app.
I’m pouting. I downloaded the Android app, opened it, and it never took me past the opening page. That looks like it should scroll through 5 or 6 images but never moved. Nothing to click on, either. 🙁
I like the Sobi (social bikes) app better than the bike town app. It seems to have all the same features but the map is easier to read and it runs better on my android phone.
Did you try swiping right to left or left to right instead of, say, up or down or tapping?
for anyone with the know-how, Motivate publishes General Bikeshare Feed Specifications (GBFS) for all of the systems it manages, including (as of 7 hours ago), BikeTown: http://developer.motivateco.com/
uh, I don’t see BikeTown on that page.
doesn’t look like GBFS shows bikes free outside of a station or “global” trips taken. The latter is what I really wanted.
What is the rim and tire size? I saw somewhere that it is 1.75 (40mm) wide. But is that a 26, 650b or 700c?
Looks like a 26.
How do biketown bikes compare to Vancouver BC’s bikes that opened today?
Their handlebar looks a lot like a Jones bar (designed in Medford) Wonder what the hand angle is. http://www.Jonesbikes.com is 45degrees, and seems to be either a love or hate thing.
I’m not a fan of the hand angle, but for the distances I’m going to be riding these bikes, I can live with it.
I found myself putting my hands on the front rack/bin because it was too upright.
I find it a bit odd that the # of annual memberships on day 1 was “1,234”. The price for annual is $144, correct? I think that’s what media said. That is $177,696, seriously?
Also, it would be nice to have a trike style available for ppl like me who never really got the hang of riding a bike.
Odd number I guess (but a good combination for your luggage). And 1,234 would probably be the number of memberships sold through day 1.
Counting the 1000+ sold through the 18th.
They make me nervous, but at least they are bright orange.
I have abandoned bike lanes, there are less of them in normal travel lanes I notice.
The bikes are really a joy to ride. Much less clunky than the bikes used in Chicago and other Bixi-based systems.
Agreed! They’re so comfy and the ride is great. The wheels just ate cobblestones, MAX tracks, and potholes for breakfast. The upright position is much easier on my hands/wrists than the Bay Area Bikeshare bikes I tried a couple years ago.
What is the size of the BIKETOWN fleet? And will they really have rates for low-income folks?
reduced fares should be available soon:
1000 bikes. Yes.
Orange Tide rising.
Not that I hate the look of my polished titanium.
Congrats to PBOT and BikeTown for a successful rollout.
Folks, if you like what you see, you can send a note to the usual suspects and tell them to keep up the good work.
Or, you can convey this to them through your wallet, buy buying an annual or daily membership. Or, if you have friends or colleagues that are not regular riders, encourage them to check out a BikeTown bike and join you when you go out to lunch or for a casual ride somewheres.
(I haven’t tried it yet, but I got my member card in the mail today).
Some arguments I’ve made to myself when deciding whether or not to bike somewhere:
I’ve got some maintenance to do, don’t want to ride until I replace that cable, adjust something, clean the chain etc…and don’t feel like doing it now. Biketown has people to care for the bikes. Hopefully they’ll do a good job.
I don’t want to have to take care of a whole house. So I’ve always lived in condos or apartments. Sometimes even with a bike room getting a bike outside is a bit of pain. For a half mile? I’ll walk. If there are biketown docks near both ends…
I left my good lock by the Japanese garden so I don’t have to ride up with it again, haven’t replaced the other good one I had that got clipped when I left it by XX for too long without using it.
Biketown isn’t perfect. It won’t get me to give up my own bikes, even if it had a wider service area/more time per day. But it’s nice to have as an option. If someone takes trips within the service area regularly it might be worth setting up to use it if the occasion ever arises. I see trimet the same way.
You could have used it without the physical card by inputting your member number manually or by reserving a bike through the app. When you reserve through the app, you only need to select “unlock” and enter your PIN. It’s a handy method if you’ve had the app open to find the nearest bike.
Thanks for the tip. That means I need to download the app. I’m sure it’s all possible, but will take a few minutes to figure out.
With all the buzz and write ups, I looks forward to seeing how much it costs to ride a 60 lb orange?
I had to drive this evening, had 3 ladies riding Biketown bikes abreast in front of me on a street I very rarely see people riding bikes on. Pure awesome! Hope to see more of this all over town!
After the giddiness and hype goes away, and time takes its toll in vandalism, lack of maintenance, theft, etc., I see decline in use and ultimate elimination of bike share. Too bad, but that’s the way it is in today’s America.
Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.
Mike: of all the cities in the US that have bike share, only one has had such a decline.
You sound like a glass half-full kind of guy.
***This comment has been deleted. I did not like your insulting and divisive tone. Please be more considerate with your language if you’d like to have future comments published. Thank you – Jonathan – firstname.lastname@example.org ***
I think it is a bit unfair to be comparing the data from Nice Ride’s five years of bike share service to one day of Biketown. Of course BT is going to have a surge in use the first day. What would be more useful is comparing NR’s first day use with BT’s. You may want to wait a year until you start comparing data with NR.
“It’s still very early and the numbers will get more useful once we’ve got a full month of data — but we can’t resist doing a bit of comparison.”
How is bike share treating me? I’d love to test it out, but I can’t afford the short-term commitment or the year-commitment, either. Would love to try it, though
A single trip costs only $2.50.
Not to belittle your financial status, but really? $2.50 is the same as a bus ride for a quick test.
The real deal is definitely the year commitment of course at $12/month. If you replace 5 bus rides, or 4 gallons of gas, or 2 bike tubes, or heck, even wear and tear costs on sneakers you come out even every month.
Same price as a bus ride, but for 1/5 of the time. So it’s really 5× more expensive than a single bus ride.
That’s ridiculous logic. Wow. $ / Maximum Trip Travel Time = Value??
Much more reasonable (yet still not perfect): $ / Trip = Value.
Personally, about 1 in 50 of my bus tickets cover both the journey there and back.
How is that ridiculous logic? It’s pure math: price × time = value. For $2.50, I can get 30 minutes of cycling time or 150 minutes of bus/MAX time with free transfers. Hopefully we can get to the point where we have free transfers from TriMet to Biketown.
Where to begin…. That math breaks down in almost every scenario I can think of, besides the one where you need to ride the bus for 2+ hours straight, god have mercy on those souls.
What matters far more for these systems – in the urban core at least – is the cost of a trip from point A to B, like a commute (which has to be, by far, the most common use of Trimet, right?). $2.50 for the bus ride or $2.50 for the Biketown ride. Just because the bus ride CAN go on for longer doesn’t make it a better value for the trip. Things are pretty darn even for a single commute jaunt from my house to work in duration, ease, enjoyment even. Because while I love biking I’m addicted to doing crosswords on the bus.
To go even further, consider my specific case of needing to commute two ways every day. Annual Trimet pass: $1,100. Annual Biketown pass: $144. You could get the Biketown pass and 382 Trimet tickets for the same price as that annual Trimet pass.
And yes, I’m sure you can find a counterpoint.
Uh, I doubt the average bus ride exceeds 30 minutes. Sure it’s longer if you ride an entire route end to end, but few people do that.
Angel, if you can get to NW Portland, I’ll pay for a ride or a day for you.
I had my first Biketown ride today and enjoyed it. I’m 6’3 so the bike the pedals were a little short for me, but for a short-rental it was great. I live on NW 21st and work on SW 5th – it’s only a 1.5 mile commute. Most days I walk the to work, or I’ll do bus/streetcar when it’s cold or wet outside. I own a bike but live in an apartment building and so Biketown seemed like an easy and inexpensive way to: a) avoid bringing my bike in and out of the building each day, or up in the elevator b) I don’t have to worry about locking up my bike all day downtown, c) saves me having to worry about year round maintenance and day-to-day grind on my bike, and d) there’s a bike station literally across the street from my apt and also 1 block from my office. Outside of feeling like I look like a tourist on a bright orange bike, it was a good first trip.
Matt let me know if you ever want to try longboarding. Your commute seems ideal for it.
Cory, ya know I never thought of that. That said, I’d be open to renting a boosted board. 🙂
Definitely. Under a couple of miles, it’s fun to use a board. Cory, do you ride in the rain? My last bad wipeout was on some wet pavement.
Yesterday morning I used an orange Biketown steed for my semi-annual visit to the dentist. All in all I was impressed, but had a similar issue to those above.
The good bits: Close to my home in NW, the login was quick and easy, the lock engages/disengages smoothly, no greasy chain to deal with, and I liked the range of gearing. Loved the upright position and bright orange color that made me visible to drowsy morning commuters. The basket was also useful for the free toothbrush and floss that my dentist likes to hand out.
Things to improve: The seatpost kept sliding. Tried to lock it down tighter which seemed to work. But all in the all the design seems weak. Shifting was a little rough, but I’m not expecting smooth electronic shifting either.
I consider myself very lucky to have a station 1/2 half block from my house. Given the density of stations on the west side and inner east side, I plan on using my membership with some frequency. My biggest concern is whether or not bikes will become overly concentrated in some areas, and lacking in others.
What happens when the bikes accumulate at certain places (low elevation) and are not available at other places (high elevation)? How are the bikes moved around so that they are available everywhere on the system? If they are moved with fossil-fueled vehicles, that sort of defeats the environmental benefits.
I think it was said they were going to use a cargo bike/trike to help rebalance.
But even if they use a gas-powered vehicle, so? Using one or two trucks per 1000 bikes doesn’t “defeat the environmental benefits.”
Are the bikes cleaned after each ride (by crews nearby) or are you advised to wipe off the seats and handlebars? Shopping cart handles are known as germ pools. When I moved here I became grateful for not pumping my own gas and having to grab a towel each time.
I might try it to test the shaft-drives, which haven’t fully caught on due to lack of fine gear ranges and extra cost. Looks like they went with the rental car model of keeping things as damage-proof as possible (I’ve not seen any stick shift car rentals).
It’s absolutely amazing how we’ve all survived the great shopping cart epidemics.
Sarcasm is expected but it’s a legit concern if one understands biology. Little kids crawl all over shopping carts and a lot of people just don’t care about hygiene. Search for keywords like: shopping carts E. coli
You can never know who’s picked their nose and grabbed a bike or train pole. Or who’s done #2 and not cleaned up much (funk transfer to seat). Semi-homeless folk might also take a spin on this manual orange line. Portland’s sidewalks tend to run yellow. It’s unlikely a rental bike will kill anyone but some of us like to separate the clean from the dirty as a general practice.
I understand biology. I work in healthcare.
Feel free to wipe down everything you touch, but beware of antibiotic resistance (and, more relevant, triclosan’s role in this). Framing it as a huge problem with bikeshare isn’t relevant.
Wow, I’m surprised it took you this long to blame homeless people.
You could say the same about MAX, airplane seats, handrails, doorknobs, pedestrian-crossing button, and every other public amenity out there. This may not be the service for you.
I expect the bikes to get a decent cleaning now and then, but not surgical sterilization. What worries me more are car fumes and texting/drunk/high drivers.
Think it’s worse that subways in NYC?
I get this. Shudder. I’m a total germophobe. I take care not to touch anything on TriMet w/ my actual bare hand and I open doors etc. w/ my sleeve covering my hand. When I get home from anywhere, I wash my hands thoroughly. I never, ever touch my hands to my eyes! I will probably wear a full beekeeper suit + gloves if I ride one of these public bikes, and will carry one of my handy dandy EO peppermint handsprays. 🙂
You do know that our bodies have immune systems, and exterminate literally millions of invading germs every single day, right?
I have yet to catch any horrible diseases from shopping carts nor bike share bikes.
“They’re all covered with filthy germs! Aren’t they, Smithers?”
Would you lick a bike handlebar or seat, anti-Smithers? People scoff at such things but tend to get serious when there’s some sort of outbreak, then they forget again (general sheeple mentality).
Bedbugs are another example. No, not on bikes, just a general mindset of awareness vs. “everything’s beautiful, let’s go vape and ride!”
Chris wasn’t calling you smithers.
(that is me)
I wonder how many people are using it to keep from walking out to their seat, wheels, or entire bike going missing while their bike is parked on the street.
I went to rent a bike this afternoon and I didn’t realize you had to setup an account beforehand. Kind of a bummer considering I needed to use the bike right then. There was no kiosk to use and I don’t have a smartphone, so I was out. Maybe I missed something, but not very convenient compared to other bikeshares I’ve used in the past.
Counterpoint: I set up my account while riding the tram down from OHSU and grabbed a bike immediately at the bottom. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. Smart phone can do some smart things apparently.
Had some of the same gear slippage problems others have noticed, but otherwise a pretty darn smooth ride our to 34th and Division.
SilkySlim: slippage/hunting in all gears, or just in gear 7?
I’ve discovered the latter on several bikes.
Hmmm, I don’t think it was isolated to a particular gear. It did seem to happen after shifting “up” to a higher number gear though. I’ll pay some more attention on my next ride for sure.
The system map has a lot of orange dots but no explanation of what they mean.
it seems like yet another piece of expensive construction/infrastructure, basically another set of condos all around the already condo laden areas of the city that cater specifically to the people that are coming in and gentrifying/destroying the city we call home. yet another way to make rich people feel more like this town is their playground, theirs to do with as they wish, F* all the poor people that already live here.