Bike-sharing system

The City of Portland is working on a bike-sharing/rental system. The system will put card-activated rental bikes in kiosks downtown.

Read all our special coverage on this story below.


Lyft to acquire Biketown operator Motivate for $250 million

Posted on June 1st, 2018 at 11:23 am.

Portland’s bike share system is now managed by Lyft while it uses bikes and technology owned by Uber.

On the same day Biketown launches a major service area expansion and host of other changes, Lyft is finalizing a $250 million deal to acquire Motivate, Inc. — the company that operates Portland’s bike share system.

The deal has potentially huge implications for the future of not only bike share in Portland, but the sharing of all types of last-mile solutions including bikes, electric-bikes, and “micro-mobility” vehicles like electric scooters.

It’s also sort of an awkward mess. Here’s why: The bright orange bikes Motivate uses in the Biketown system were designed and made by a company known as Social Bicycles, which was re-launched as Jump Bikes in January. Then in April, Jump was acquired by Uber, Lyft’s main rival. That means Portland’s bike share system is now managed by Lyft while it uses bikes and technology owned by Uber. What could possibly go wrong?
[Read more…]

Biketown upgrade: Expansion eastward, new payment options, more free parking

Posted on May 31st, 2018 at 1:42 pm.

You can now Biketown in the 50s.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Aiming to make the service easier and cheaper to use, the City of Portland has announced that Biketown will expand eastward, have more payment options, and will no longer charge a $2 fee (to annual members) for parking outside a designated rack.
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Portland developer opens first privately sponsored Biketown station

Posted on May 31st, 2018 at 8:57 am.

One of two Biketown parking areas in the Field Office plaza on NW Front Avenue.
(Photos © Jonathan Maus)

It’s usually a good sign when the private sector invests in a city-run transportation program. Such is the case with the new Biketown station at the new Field Office in northwest Portland.

Believing that access to bike share is an asset for their tenants and neighbors, the developers of a pair of new office buildings on NW Front/Naito between 15th and 17th have ponied up for a station and 15 bikes.
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A test ride of LimeBike’s dockless electric vehicles

Posted on March 30th, 2018 at 2:50 pm.

Rolling on SW Stark yesterday with LimeBike’s Chief Program Officer Scott Kubly.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here’s my predication: It’s not a matter of if Portland will get dockless bikes, it’s a matter of when.
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Why is LimeBike hiring a full-time operations manager in Portland?

Posted on March 26th, 2018 at 11:07 am.

Is Portland is about to get a dockless bike share system?

According to this job listing, LimeBike is hiring a full-time operations manager for Portland. The listing says the manager will oversee a team of employees “ranging from 4 to 20.”

There’s been no public announcement, and I don’t have a response from the City of Portland yet, but hiring a full-time manager sure seems like a precursor to doing business.

Either way, if LimeBike is coming to Portland it would not be a huge surprise.

As we shared back in January, Portland Bureau of Transportation staffers took a field trip up to Seattle to test dockless bikes — with LimeBike being one of them. There’s also a personal connection between Portland and LimeBike: the company’s Chief Program Officer is Scott Kubly. Kubly and PBOT Director Leah Treat are former colleagues who worked together in Chicago as deputies under Chicago DOT Director Gabe Klein. Kubly resigned from Seattle’s top transportation job in December and was hired by LimeBike earlier this month to handle business development and government relations.
[Read more…]

Portland now offers online bike share memberships for food-stamp card holders

Posted on August 30th, 2017 at 3:40 pm.

Biketown for All member Jon Horton.
(Photo: PBOT)

The City of Portland just announced an important update to its Biketown for All program that makes it even easier for low-income residents to access to bike share.

As of today, anyone with an Oregon Trail Card is now automatically eligible to take part in the program. PBOT has launched a new online registration form that streamlines the sign-up process. The latest data from the Oregon Department of Human Services indicate there are about 70,000 individuals in the Portland area who have an Oregon Trail Card.

When Biketown for All first launched last year, would-be participants had to be referred into the program by social service organizations (which include: Alder House, Harsch Properties, UGM Women and Children, Home Forward, Central City Concern, Street Roots, Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA), Pacific Towers, Lagunitas, Sisters of the Road, Elders in Action NW, Cascade AIDS Project, Impact NW, and Humboldt Gardens). After the referral, a workshop was mandatory to establish eligibility. (Program partner The Community Cycling Center has hosted 38 workshops since last October.)

Now people who have an Oregon Trail Card can sign up for a membership online (and the workshops are optional).
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Columbia Sportswear and Kaiser Permanente team up on westside bike share pilot project

Posted on May 22nd, 2017 at 1:34 pm.

Bikes awaiting users at the Quatama MAX station.
(Photo: Westside Transportation Alliance)

Employees of two Washington County corporations can now take advantage of free bicycles to make that “last-mile” into work a bit easier (and more fun) thanks to a bike share program that launched earlier this month.

The Westside Transportation Alliance has partnered with Kaiser Permanente’s Westside Medical Center and Columbia Sportswear’s Amberglen call-center on a pilot project of 30 bikes spread across three stations. The hub of the system is the light rail station at NW 205th and Quatama Road in Hillsboro. The system is open to anyone with a Kaiser or Columbia email address. The two companies have a combined workforce of about 1,300 people.

The bikes come with a basket, front and rear lights and a lock. The rental technology is based on software created by the Open Bike Inc., a social venture company founded by former Intel employees. You might recall our coverage of their first project on the Intel campus in 2013. The smartphone-based bike rental technology has since been used by the Go by Bike/OHSU system in South Waterfront and on Nike’s World Headquarters campus in Beaverton (Nike’s system has since been supplanted by Biketown).
[Read more…]

Portland inks $750,000 Biketown sponsorship deal with Kaiser Permanente

Posted on March 16th, 2017 at 12:44 pm.

New public plaza on SW 3rd and Ankeny-2.jpg

Now an even healthier option.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland’s Biketown bank account just got a bit healthier. $750,000 healthier.

That’s the amount of a new sponsorship deal between the City’s bike share program and Kaiser Permanente. According to Dani Simons of Motivate, the company that operates Biketown, the deal will be spread out over five years (that’s $150,000 per year). With a $10 million investment, Nike is still the founding and title sponsor of Biketown. Kaiser’s cash will allow it to become the exclusive sponsor in the health insurance and health care industry category.

In exchange for their financial support, Kaiser will get branding on 25, or one-fourth of all Biketown stations. They’ll also get logo placement and other tie-ins inside the Biketown mobile app (which has been downloaded 41,176 times) and on the web-based version of the system map. When users click a station to reserve a bike, there’s a drop-down menu that allows them to shop for a health insurance plan right on the Biketown website. Here are a few screenshots of how it looks:

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City moves forward with plan to rent adaptive bikes as part of Biketown system

Posted on February 24th, 2017 at 9:37 am.

Adaptive Bike Clinic-25.jpg

Biketown program manager Steve Hoyt-McBeth (right) at an Adaptive Bike Clinic in June 2016.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland took another step today toward fulfilling a promise they made last summer: To make the Biketown bike share program more accessible to people who are unable to ride conventional bicycles.

If all goes according to plan, adaptive bikes should be available for use by this summer.

To refresh your memory, this issue caught the Portland Bureau of Transportation off-guard last summer, just weeks before the scheduled launch of the Biketown program, when a local advocate for people with disabilities began to question the equity of a bike share system that wasn’t accessible by all of Portland’s bicycle riders. That advocate was Chloe Eudaly, who notched a victory on this issue when PBOT promised to find a solution and then went on to earn a victory at the ballot box when she became a Portland City Commissioner.

Eudaly’s prodding set PBOT on the path toward researching options and gathering information from adaptive bike users.

Today PBOT launched a survey to garner focused feedback on their plan. According to a press statement, PBOT will make adaptive bicycle rentals available through existing bike rental businesses that located near popular bike paths. Once the system is up-and-running, people who ride hand-cycles, three-wheeled trikes, and side-by-side tandems, would be able to rent one of the bikes near paths like the Eastbank Esplanade or the Springwater Corridor through a City-subsidized program.
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City survey: Biketown’s 38,000 riders have boosted economy, reduced car trips since launch

Posted on January 18th, 2017 at 10:05 am.

Infographic of Biketown survey released by PBOT this morning.

160,000 trips, 38,000 individual riders and over 312,000 miles ridden since July of last year. Those are just some of the results from a survey about the Biketown bike share system released by the Portland Bureau of Transportation this morning.

In addition to solid usage numbers, the city claims the bikes have boosted business and have helped keep cars off the roads.

Overall it’s more great news for PBOT and the promises that were made for years about bike share.

Here’s the full statement with more results from the survey:[Read more…]