Bike Sharing Hits the Portland Streets
What is BIKETOWN?
After 10 years of planning, $2 million in federal grants and another $10 million kicked in by Nike BIKETOWN is the west coast’s largest smart bike program! As of July 19, 2016, 1,000 bright orange cruisers are now available to cyclists across the city at 100 different stations. The service area covers the entire PDX central city, including downtown, Old Town/Chinatown, inner Northwest, Goose Hollow, South Waterfront, West End, Pearl District, Central Eastside, Rose Quarter, Lloyd District, and inner North Portland.
What is a bike share and how much does it cost?
Bike share is a public bike rental system for short trips (30-90 minutes) across the city, giving residents and visitors a convenient and fun transportation option. A membership costs $12 per month (90 minutes of ride time daily), $12 for 24 hours (perfect for visitors) or $2.50 for a single, 30-minute trip (the same rate as a single-ride TriMet ticket). BIKETOWN offers the lowest price point of any major bike share system in the U.S., allowing a broad cross-section of Portlanders to access the system for flexible trips.
Is it safe?
These bikes are built to be sturdy, but be sure to bring your own helmet as no Nutcases are provided with this ride. The bike share community hopes to encourage the use of helmets for their riders by providing free helmet promotions, discounts for annual members on helmet purchases, and low-cost helmets for low-income users through retail partnerships. The city is also exploring helmet vending options in conjunction with bike share station locations. Lights are integrated right into the frame of the bikes and turn on automatically when you begin your ride, making sure you stay visible at all times. Safety first! You will also want to follow the rules of the road to ensure that all of your two-wheel adventures end in a fun arrival at your destination.
How does it work?
Get the APP for your smartphone which will allow you to purchase your rides, find bikes and stations, reserve bikes, track your riding history and get ride notifications.
Ready for an adventure? Check out the City of Portland’s interactive bike map and get planning!
Sure, cruising through PDX on a bright orange bike is pretty awesome, but what’s even cooler about this new way of getting around? BIKETOWN will help our amazing city of Portland meet many of its livability, transportation, and climate change goals. It will provide a low-cost transportation option to reduce congestion and carbon emissions all the while complementing our MAX light rail, Portland Streetcar and bus systems.
Is PDX the first city to have bike share?
Bike shares operate in over 60 U.S. cities and more than 500 worldwide, however, Portland will be an innovation laboratory for bike shares across the globe as we work to develop the most accessible, flexible, and sustainable bike share system in the world!
Portland is utilizing Social Bicycle’s (SoBi) smart bike technology to empower us to make the system operate efficiently. Bike share’s biggest operating cost is “system rebalancing” – moving bikes to and from high demand locations. Where most bike share systems require vans or trucks to move bikes around and keep the system operating efficiently, Portland will pilot the use of real-time GPS data and financial incentives to reduce reliance on motorized vehicles. As the trip data grows over time, Portland and the bike share community plan to develop algorithms to further enhance the efficiency, predictability, and sustainability of their rebalancing efforts.
Looking forward to seeing you crusin’ PDX!