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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

A New Form of Transportation Pedals into Portland

This week marked a new era for transportation in Portland. The City’s bike share system, BIKETOWN, launched this Tuesday with 1,000 smart bikes across 100 stations. Though we are the 65th city in the nation to adopt a bike share program, we have the largest—and one that was designed with convenience and affordability in mind.

BIKETOWN is ideal for short one-way trips, whether it be running errands, commuting in the Central City, or simply enjoying Portland’s urban environment. It’s easy to checkout a bike at a station kiosk or reserve a bike through your mobile phone or desktop. Users may also purchase a BIKETOWN card, which will allow users to tap the card on the bike’s keypad and then enter their 4-digit PIN. Similar to car2go, BIKETOWN bikes are equipped with GPS technology that allows the user to drop off bikes anywhere within the service area, not necessarily at a BIKETOWN kiosk. The GPS units also help deter theft and ensure a safe, high-quality experience.

PBOT staff have gone to great lengths to ensure this new transportation system fits seamlessly into Portland’s fabric. The lights on BIKETOWN bikes will turn on automatically when the bike starts moving, regardless of whether it is day or night.  Further, users will be reminded of safe riding practices by signs on kiosks and notes on the bicycles. 

Moreover, as we start relying more on data to drive transportation planning decisions, we intend to utilize anonymous data from GPS units to better understand mobility trends for people who ride bikes.  This will allow us to better prioritize biking and walking infrastructure where it will have the most impact.

BIKETOWN will help Portland meets its Climate Action Plan goals to reduce emissions from transportation. Bike share annual members in similar cities have reduced their driving by 20% and dramatically increased their bicycling. As a one-way trip tool, BIKETOWN will make our world class transit system even more convenient.

When BIKETOWN was designed, equity was essential in the decision-making process, influencing both fare structure and station location. At $2.50 per single ride, BIKETOWN is one of the most affordable bike share systems. For even greater affordability, BIKETOWN allows users to earn credits towards their accounts by returning BIKETOWN bikes at public bike racks to BIKETOWN kiosks. Further, as part of our station siting process, we made conscious decisions to look closely at affordable housing locations.  96% of the 13,000 affordable housing units within the BIKETOWN service area are within ¼ mile of a BIKETOWN station; 60% are within 500 feet. Moreover, the Community Cycling Center and PBOT received a People for Bikes grant to conduct grassroots outreach to affordable housing communities and providing deeply discounted memberships to low income Portlanders.

BIKETOWN is developing an ADA accessible bike share pilot program that will kick off in spring 2017.

With all of these innovative and sustainable features, BIKETOWN will be an affordable, high-quality transportation experience unmatched in the nation.  We hope you will check out a bike and go for a spin!

If you have any questions, please check out the extensive FAQ on the BIKETOWN website or contact BIKETOWN’s customer service at Phone: 866-512-BIKE (866-512-2453)