The Portland Police Bureau has a lead on the suspects in the Biketown vandalism case.
As many as 260 bike share bikes — about one quarter of the entire system — at 32 different Biketown stations were vandalized. Through camera footage, the police have obtained images of the vehicle and three of the suspects and they need the public’s help to further the case.
Below is the official statement, followed by images of the suspects and their car:
Biketown is back.
After over 20 percent of the system was taken offline two weeks ago due to vandalism, Biketown says all 1,000 bikes are back in operation.
The City of Portland and bike share operator Motivate were caught off-guard by the scope of the vandalism. Sources told us they didn’t have enough parts on-hand — or enough labor to repair them. Thankfully, our community stepped up to help. Local bike business owners and employees lended a helping hand by rebuilding wheels and doing whatever it took to nurse the bikes back to full health.
In an email sent to members today, Biketown said, “We would like to extend a huge thank you to you, Portland. The support you’ve shown for bike share in this city is overwhelming. The team at Biketown is very grateful to know that the work we do is appreciated by so many of you. Now, let’s ride!”[Read more…]
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.
One reason Portland has such a great street culture (by American standards) is that we cherish the sun. Unlike places where it hardly ever rains, we do not take the presence of that life-giving orb for granted.
So it’s no surprise that after months of record-setting (even for us!) rain and cold and darkness, Portland streets came alive when the sun came out last week. A sunny Friday coincided with the emergence of blossoms on thousands of trees throughout the city. As per tradition, I grabbed my camera, hopped on my bike and set out to see how Portlanders responded.
(*See update below: PBOT says over 200 bikes have been hit. That’s 20 percent of the total system.)
Vandals have hit several Biketown bike share stations in the past week.
So far we’ve heard of 12 locations where vandals have damaged bikes and rendered them useless. The City of Portland is aware of some of the damage and has crews responding to fix the bikes and return the stations into operational status.
At least two of the incidents appear to be the work of the same suspect: A flyer has been posted on the stations that says the damage was inflicted by Rose City Saboteurs.
“This Biketown is now closed,” reads the sign. “Our city is not a corporate amusement park.”
Here are the station locations where readers have reported vandalism so far:
NE 24th and Glisan
SE Water and Taylor
N Interstate and Willamette
N Williams and Fremont (New Seasons)
33rd and Belmont
14th and Stark
12th and Division
30th and Division
36th and Hawthorne
SE 12th and Gideon (on Orane Line MAX)
SE Pine and 28th
Couch and 28th
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:
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.
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…]
How does Biketown, Portland’s bike share system, stack up against other modes of travel during extreme weather? How would it work — or would it work at all — during a major snowstorm?
Those were the questions that have been on my mind after my brief foray on a Biketown bike late last night.
This morning I wanted to give it a real test. With twice as much snow on the ground as there was last night, I rolled over to my local Biketown station. My goal was to get downtown and back. Here’s what I learned…[Read more…]