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Portland Community College teams with WashCo Bikes on new campus bike fleet

Posted by on November 6th, 2019 at 10:21 am

En route to PCC Rock Creek and Sylvania!
(Photos: WashCo Bikes)

A fleet of 20 new bicycles is headed to two Portland Community College campuses on the westside. The bikes are part of a partnership between Hillsboro-based WashCo Bikes and PCC’s Sylvania and Rock Creek locations.

WashCo Bikes volunteer Otlyn Black.

According to WashCo Bikes Director Joe Kurmaskie, the goal of the program is to provide a fleet of quality, durable bikes students can rent for the entire semester. Unlike a bikeshare program, these bikes will belong to the student who can use it as their own bike on and off-campus. For $15 a term (or $5 per month), students receive a Civia Lowry bicycle (with fenders and lights pre-installed), a lock, and a helmet.

The program is funded jointly by WashCo Bikes and PCC, both of whom say they hope to add bikes each semester to reach a target fleet size of 250 to 300.

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PCC Active Transportation Manager John Carter has spearheaded this program on both campuses. Recently completed student surveys and in-person conversations have found a strong demand from potential bike riders — even at these relatively car-centric campuses. “We have more students interested in participating than available bikes,” he said in a statement. In addition to the bikes, Carter says the fleet will be assembled and maintained by a bike shop at the Rock Creek campus staffed by student mechanics.

Kurmaskie said it’s all about his organization’s region-wide push to help people live more low-car lives. “Every student commuting to class via transit and bike is one less car on campus. It’s good for their health, the environment and we hope will foster structural changes to the campuses. Imagine more paths and bike corrals and less parking lots.”

If you want to learn more, the new bikes will debut at two Transit Resource Fair events scheduled for Thursday November 7th at PCC Sylvania and November 12th at PCC Rock Creek. Learn more about both events here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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8 Comments
  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty November 6, 2019 at 10:43 am

    This is a great idea. Students may hesitate to buy a bike, but renting one at these prices is much less of a barrier. I think this model will work better than bike share for the target audience. I hope it proves successful!

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    Todd Boulanger November 6, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Way to go Joe and WashCo Bikes! [Aloha, Joe Kurmaskie!]

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    Maria November 6, 2019 at 11:40 am

    This is so cool!!! Thanks Joe and WashCo, way to spread the bicycle love.

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    TOM MARTIN November 6, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Glad to have participated in this in a tiny way. Also, glad to have develop the bike rental program at Cascade campus for 4 years, when I was a student.

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    rainbike November 6, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    What a great idea. Hopefully this will be the gateway drug that inspires students to eventually invest in their own bikes and start a lifetime of cycling addiction. I was fortunate enough to be able to buy a Bridgestone MB-6 in 1990, during my undergrad days. She is still my commuter bike.

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    Fred November 6, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    What PCC really needs to do is expand the capacity of the shuttle buses to carry bikes. Almost no one short of Lance Armstrong is going to cycle up Mount Sylvania, but what a sweet roll downhill – at least til you reach the MV hell that is Barbur.

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      Chrystal November 7, 2019 at 7:55 am

      I agree with you Fred. I drive out to PCC Sylvania campus from SE, but if the shuttle bus from PCC SE had a bike rack I would be more inclined to bike it, and take the bus from the SE campus.

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    Phil Richman November 7, 2019 at 10:41 am

    Hopefully those who do choose to cycle to PCC Sylvania will feel safer than they might have just a few months ago before the lanes were reorganized by PBOT on Capitol Highway. Great work Joe & WashCo Bikes!

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