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.


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).
[Read more…]

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:

[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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…]

Reduced fares, cash payment part of new ‘Biketown for All’ program

Posted on October 27th, 2016 at 10:21 am.

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

Now available to more Portlanders.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A $3 per month membership, the ability to pay with cash, and partnerships with social service and housing organizations are all part of the City of Portland’s new Biketown for All program.

The plan debuted this morning makes good on the city’s promise to make it easier for Portlanders with low-incomes to use the 1,000 orange bike share bikes that hit the streets last summer.

Under the new plan, qualifying individuals get access to a monthly membership price that’s 75 percent lower than the $12 per month standard fare. These reduced cost memberships will be available in three-month blocks instead of the usual 12-month commitment. The new program also allows people without bank accounts and credit/debit cards to use the bikes.

In order to qualify, people can be referred by organizations where they receive social services like housing, their Oregon Trail Card, job training, and so on. After making that connection they must attend a workshop that covers how to use the system and includes a hands-on riding skills clinic. These workshops will also soon be available to people not affiliated with any social service organization as long as they fill out an application and attend a workshop.[Read more…]

Biketown says users will get multiple chances to protect their jury-trial rights

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 at 1:26 pm.

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

The new Biketown station at SW 3rd and Oak.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Anyone who acts to protect themselves from a clause buried in the Biketown contract that prompts users to waive their jury-trial rights is protecting themselves permanently, the bike share operator says.

At issue is a “binding arbitration” clause in section 15 of the long rental agreement to which people must agree in order to use the public system. Such clauses, which are designed to prevent class actions and other customer lawsuits, are increasingly common for credit card companies and other corporations but are rare among public bike share systems.

But as we reported Thursday, the contract includes a way for Biketown users to protect themselves: you have to send an email with a particular subject line to a particular email address mentioned in the contract.

[Read more…]

Portland will offer Biketown-branded cycles for people with disabilities

Posted on June 30th, 2016 at 3:58 pm.

Adaptive Bike Clinic-20.jpg

Participants in the June 5 adaptive bike clinic where the city gathered suggestions for an accessibility program.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

After taking criticism from local accessibility advocates and from the transportation commissioner’s political challenger, Portland says it’ll fund a discounted rental program for handcycles and trikes.

It seems to be the first such program in the country, though city staff couldn’t say for sure.

The goal is to make it possible for more people with disabilities get access to bicycles, in the same way that most other people will have an option to use Biketown, the publicly backed bike sharing system that launches July 19.

[Read more…]

NW Portland is about to become one of the best bike-share areas on the continent

Posted on June 14th, 2016 at 11:26 am.

NW Portland Week day 2-36.jpg

A bikeway crossroads: NW 14th and Johnson.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s most underperforming bike quadrant is about to get a very big investment.

Despite their proximity to jobs, northwest Portland residents are significantly less likely to bike-commute than residents of inner southeast, north or northeast Portland. And that’s exactly why Portland’s Biketown system is putting its biggest bet on northwest.

Today’s announcement of a final station map comes on the very same day that a state committee will start debating the fate of the first major bike project for northwest Portland in many years, arguably the key to getting inexperienced bike users comfortably across Interestate 405: the proposed Flanders Crossing bridge.

[Read more…]

Should you buy a Biketown membership right now? Here’s the calculation

Posted on June 14th, 2016 at 7:29 am.

hello biketown is here

There are a few scenarios to consider.
(Image: BIKETOWNpdx.com)

Now that we finally know the prices to use Portland’s new public bike sharing system, it’s time to start making a decision: What do you want to commit to?

Even broken out into $12 monthly payments, $144 a year is a pretty big commitment, though far cheaper than, say, an annual TriMet pass ($1,100). And unlike TriMet or most U.S. bike sharing systems, month-to-month passes apparently won’t be an option with Biketown. You can pay $12 for 24 hours or $12 each month for a year; nothing in between. Or you can put up $2.50 for a single ride any time you need one.

So what’s the best option for you? Here’s a short BikePortland guide to the $12-per-month decision.

[Read more…]