Police on the lookout for three suspects in Biketown vandalism case

Damage to Biketown station-1.jpg

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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:

Read more

Biketown back to full capacity after vandalism, just in time for bike month

Biketown bike share launch-3.jpg

(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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

Beyond vandalism, Biketown faces ridership test ahead of summer season

Biketown bike share -14.jpg

Biketown is popular with tourists, but the system needs more annual members if it wants to flourish.
(All photos by Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s bike sharing system could have a bumpy road ahead even if political vandals decide to leave it be.

Annual members

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.

Read more

Vandals hit at least 11 Biketown stations, over 200 bikes – UPDATED

Biketown station at SE 14th and Stark is one of 12 that have been hit.
(Photo: Kiran Limaye)

(*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

Read more