Portland’s much-ballyhooed all-electric fleet of new bike share bikes will launch on Wednesday.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation just made the official announcement and will host a press conference tomorrow in east Portland.
As we reported back in July this expansion comes with a host of changes — most notably a widely expanded service area, higher prices, and of course zippy new bikes that have been completely redesigned.
If you want to rent the new bikes, make sure you’ve got the latest version of the Biketown app on your phone. If you already have it installed it might automatically update tomorrow morning (depending on your settings).
Some Biketown users were surprised when the fleet was abruptly removed from service Tuesday morning. Somehow PBOT will get 1,500 new bikes on the ground overnight. Stay tuned for more coverage and let us know what you see out there. Here we go!
UPDATE, 9/8 at 10:00pm: The app has been updated and the changes are live. Go grab it and get ready to ride Wednesday morning.
UPDATE, 9/9 at 6:00 am: It has been launched! Check out more pics and my first ride impressions here.
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They are still mopeds. Can you ride up the hills now? Boo!
I doubt I’ll be riding it Wednesday morning, as my membership seems to have vanished and Biketown hasn’t let me know how to carry it over to the new system.
I wonder if the electric power will help with bike migration since going uphill will be more pleasant. The expanded service area is welcome.
While I’ve been using biketown frequently since my bike was stolen last year, I only used them for less than 5 miles at a time, and my phone is too junky to put any more apps on (I used the keypad to unlock the bikes). I might be in a minority here but I don’t bring a phone with me everywhere I go. The additional cost also seems like a waste of money to me. So, sort of a sad day.
I don’t know for sure, but in the video bikeportland posted on their Instagram it appeared there was a spot you could tap a credit card directly on the fender to pay for a ride. Maybe that method of getting a bike would solve your problem.
I asked PBOT about that and it’s only for Biketown for All members (the low-income user program). There will be no member cards for Annual Plan members… so the only way to unlock is w the QR code and app.
Does anyone know what they’re doing with existing annual memberships? I re-upped with the old provider in June, and I just got a new one through Lyft, but they charged the full $99, i.e. they didn’t honor my existing membership.
I have a ticket open with Lyft, but I expect the runaround.
They were actually quite helpful! Existing membership should be upgraded automatically. They fixed mine by hand.
Keypad/unlocking and vehicle speed were the only two issues with Version 1.0
This definitely solves the second thing! Congrats, BIKETOWN and PBOT.
Bon Chance to BIketown v2!
[PS. I love the mixed message on the app…”Customer, Ride a bike’ followed by ‘System Unavailable’]
And has there been an update on where the existing v1 Biketown hardware will go?
It’s a shame the baskets can’t carry as much. These are exactly the style of bike share e-bikes we have here in Chicago.