Portland’s bike sharing system could have a bumpy road ahead even if political vandals decide to leave it be.
A comparison of three bike share systems.
- Biketown Portland: 2,837 (after nine months)
- Pronto Seattle*: 2,878 (after nine months)
- Capital Bikeshare Washington D.C.: 16,000 (after 12 months)
*Pronto has ceased operation.
Biketown launched nine months ago next week with 1000 bikes and 100 stations. Thanks to title sponsorship from Nike, it was one of the country’s largest bike-share launches — double the station and bike count of Seattle’s Pronto system when it launched in 2014.
Pronto, which like Biketown was operated by New York-based Motivate Inc., turned into the country’s highest-profile bike-share failure to date. Plagued by low ridership and a series of financial missteps and miscommunications, it shut down at the end of last month.
And though Portland’s Biketown is a very different system with a different price structure, its annual membership numbers for year one are on a very similar trajectory to Pronto’s.