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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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Dylan Rivera

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News Release: BIKETOWN 2016 Report: Survey shows BIKETOWN supports local business, tourism and reduces car trips

BIKETOWN data shows Portlanders and visitors take 160,000 trips in five and a half months


(January 18, 2017) In five and a half short months, the bright orange bikes of BIKETOWN have reduced automobile use, increased access to local businesses and expanded tourism opportunities. Those are some of the key findings of a survey of more than 2,400 people who have used Portland’s bike share system since it launched July 19.

The survey, which included one-time users as well as annual members, found 26 percent of Portlanders using BIKETOWN said they used it instead of driving a car and 64 percent said they are biking more.

The survey shows BIKETOWN supports local businesses. Among tourists using BIKETOWN, 71 percent said they rode an orange bike to reach stores or restaurants. Also, 69 percent of local residents using BIKETOWN said they were more likely to patronize a business near the colorful orange stations.

Survey graphic image of data

Since the launch of BIKETOWN on July 19, there have been over 160,000 trips taken on the City’s bike share system totaling 312,690 miles (the equivalent of 49 round-trip rides from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine).

In 2016, 38,000 people have used BIKETOWN in Portland and 3,000 of them have committed to annual memberships. The average trip length for all users is 1.57 miles and the average trip time is 24 minutes.

“We are thrilled with how quickly BIKETOWN has been embraced by Portlanders and visitors alike,” Portland Transportation Director Leah Treat said. “This survey shows BIKETOWN makes it easy for people to use bikes instead of cars for short trips, reducing congestion, pollution and carbon emissions. We are incredibly proud that this new transportation option has helped increase biking in Portland while at the same time strengthening the local economy and supporting local business.”

The survey, sent to all BIKETOWN users in November 2016, provided additional insight into the usage and popularity of the service. Among the survey’s findings:

BIKETOWN is delivering on its promise to increase biking and reduce car trips:

  • 26% of BIKETOWN trips eliminated car trips (among locals)
  • 64% of resident/commuters surveyed said they’re biking more
  • 20% of locals reduced their car ownership or have considered it

BIKETOWN strengthens the local economy and supports local businesses

  • 56% of BIKETOWN tourist riders surveyed said that bicycling opportunities were a factor in their decision to visit Portland.
  • 71% of out-of-town BIKETOWN users reported using BIKETOWN to reach shopping or restaurant destinations.
  • 69% of local BIKETOWN users said they were more likely to patronize a business near a BIKETOWN station.

BIKETOWN users rated BIKETOWN’s system performance highly, rating all aspects of performance good or excellent.

Said survey respondent and BIKETOWN user Megan Cwiklinski, “I ride a bicycle all the time now because of the convenience of BIKETOWN. I use them everyday to and from work and just to get around in the Portland area. BIKETOWN is so easy to use and I love not having to worry about locking and storing my own bike!”

“My family moved back to Portland in August of this year after having been out of the country for 6 years. We decided to buy one car when we came back and see if we needed a second,” said BIKETOWN user Erik Swanson. “I was not aware of BIKETOWN bikes before moving back, but was pleased to find stations both a block from my house and a block from my work. I have been using your bikes every day to get to and from work and to work meetings downtown, and I love it! My family does not need to purchase a second car, and biking through the city is such a nice way to start and end my day.”

The most popular BIKETOWN station is SW Salmon at Waterfront Park, with a total of 12,387 trips starting or ending at the location. BIKETOWN continues to be popular even as rain and snow fall in Portland. During a recent snow event on Wednesday, December 14, five people joined BIKETOWN as new members with single ride passes, presumably as an alternate means of travel during winter weather conditions.

Looking forward, PBOT will continue to enhance its partnership with the Community Cycling Center to provide discounted memberships to Portlanders living on low incomes through its BIKETOWN for ALL program. The Community Cycling Center partners with affordable housing, social service and community organizations to connect those in need with BIKETOWN memberships, including cash membership options for those without a credit or debit card. In 2016, BIKETOWN for All members took 776 trips.

In 2017, PBOT hopes to increase both the number of trips and number of people using BIKETOWN. As a new service, BIKETOWN’s usage is expected to grow as more people become familiar with this transportation option. Half of respondents said that bringing BIKETOWN to new areas would help them use the service more. PBOT and its partners will continue to review ridership demographics and to look for opportunities to encourage more Portlanders to use the bikes and bring BIKETOWN to new neighborhoods while staying a financially sustainable public service.

Learn more about BIKETOWN at

About PBOT

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility.

About Nike

Nike believes in the power of sport and physical activity to help strengthen communities. As a longtime partner with the City of Portland, BIKETOWN highlights the company’s commitment to make Portland even more active, vibrant and innovative. As part of this collaboration, Nike designed the innovative visual identity for the program’s standard bike which is the highly identifiable orange that is synonymous with Nike. In addition, Nike oversees the design and branding of the system’s logo, stations and physical presence, as well as a select number of limited edition bike wrap designs, beginning with the Nike Air Max 95, Nike Air Trainer 1 and Nike Air Safari.

About Motivate

Motivate is a global leader in bike share. A full-service bike share operator and technology innovator, Motivate works to re-envision how people experience and move around cities. Motivate operates over 75% of the bike share fleet in North America, including the four largest systems in the US: Citi Bike in New York, Divvy in Chicago, Capital Bikeshare in the D.C. area, Bay Area Bike Share (San Francisco Bay Area) and Hubway in the Boston area. International Motivate bike share systems include Bike Share Toronto and Melbourne Bike Share (Australia).


Winter Weather Travel Advisory: PBOT encourages the public to use caution, clear storm drains, as lingering freezing rain and rains continue overnight

 Get Home Safe Banner

Snow shovel and storm drain

(5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017) The Portland Bureau of Transportation encourages the traveling public to use caution as lingering freezing rain in East Portland and slushy conditions citywide could make travel challenging tonight and early Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service has advised that freezing rain is likely to last the longest, with more ice accumulation, in areas East of Interstate 205. Drivers should be aware that freezing rain creates treacherous traveling conditions.


The public should be alert to tricky road conditions

  • Water ponding on streets may cause vehicles to hydroplane or splash nearby properties and people walking or biking. Slow down and look out for others.
  • Slick spots of lingering slush, especially in areas at high elevation, may cause slippery conditions for people driving, biking and walking.
  • Be aware that trees may begin to fall, after days of being laden with freezing rain and snow. Fallen trees may block roads or cut power lines. Clear limbs from travel lanes if you can safely. For large trees blocking travel lanes or sidewalks, call PBOT's maintenance dispatchers at 503-823-1700. Stay away from downed power lines, and call 9-1-1 to report them.


Do your part to help everyone Get Home Safe!

  • Mayor Ted Wheeler has said this storm presents a "community moment" when Portlanders should try to help make neighbors and fellow Portlanders safe.
  • Clear the storm drain near your home or business! With more than 58,000 storm drains citywide, we need everyone to help keep them clear so melted snow and ice can drain. Clogged storm drains cause water ponds along streets, causing vehicles to hydroplane, and splashing people biking and walking. Learn more about storm drains at PBOT's web site.
  • Everyone is urged to continue to clear sidewalks adjacent their home or business, as required by city code.
  • Be watchful for people walking and biking who are also trying to get around in hazardous, low visibility conditions. Travel safely and responsibly.

PBOT crews continue to work through the night to clear roads


  • PBOT crews will clear storm drains of slush and snow, making way for melting snow and ice to seep into the stormwater system and prevent street flooding. But with more than 58,000 citywide, we need the public's help to clear them too!
  • Tonight, PBOT crews will work to clear slush from primary and secondary plow routes.
  • Crews will also work to push frozen, rutted icy material from streets, pushing it away from travel lanes.

Winter Weather Travel Advisory: With freezing rain in the forecast, PBOT urges travelers to exercise extreme caution, avoid travel if possible

Get Home Safe Banner

(5 p.m., Monday, Jan. 16, 2017) The National Weather Service has issued a freezing rain advisory for the Portland metropolitan area. The current forecast calls for freezing rain to start early Tuesday morning and last at least into Tuesday afternoon. Up to 0.4 inches of ice accumulation is likely. Based on this forecast, the Portland Bureau of Transportation warns the traveling public to be prepared for severe winter weather that may create hazardous traveling conditions during the Tuesday morning commute.

The Weather Service has also advised that freezing rain is likely to last the longest, with more ice accumulation, in areas East of Interstate 205.

Drivers should be aware that freezing rain creates treacherous travelling conditions. If possible, travelers should avoid all travel unless absolutely necessary. Travelers should monitor conditions closely throughout the day.

PBOT is closely monitoring conditions and will bring on extra crews starting at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning to put down sand and gravel at critical intersections. Travelers should still be prepared for very slippery conditions.


Watch for black ice

Black ice is defined as ice that remains on roadways that are not subjected to direct sunlight. Black ice commonly forms on roads that wind around lakes and rivers, in tunnels, on overpasses and in highly shaded, rural areas. Black ice is almost invisible to the naked eye. Be especially careful when driving or riding into shaded areas, on bridges and overpasses, and on infrequently traveled roads. Slow down during your approach.


Look out for people walking and biking

Be watchful for pedestrians and bicyclists who are also trying to get around in hazardous, low visibility conditions. Share the Road safely and responsibly.


Carry an emergency weather kit

Carry an emergency weather kit in your vehicle to help keep you safe and more comfortable during long waits. Your kit should include chains, battery jumper cables, first aid kit, shovel, basic tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver and knife), blanket, extra clothing (hats, socks, boots, and mittens), flashlight, bag of sand, and cellular phone or CB Radio.


See more safety tips:



Winter Weather Travel Advisory: PBOT urges public to use caution this weekend, releases initial impressions of road salt test, stats from three days of severe conditions

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(Jan. 13, 2016) The Portland Bureau of Transportation advises the traveling public to expect continued challenging travel conditions this weekend. The National Weather Service has also warned the City of Portland to expect the possibility of severe flooding in the Johnson Creek area by the afternoon hours of Tuesday Jan. 17.

Since the afternoon of Tuesday Jan. 10, PBOT crews have been working 24 hours a day to clear the city’s 518 miles of plow routes, which cover critical routes for hospitals, police and other first responders and public transit service. Continued freezing temperatures, including a record low 11 degrees early Friday morning, refroze many streets that had previously thawed. PBOT equipment can only plow down to 1 inch above the street surface. PBOT crews attempt to rough up the surface and apply gravel in critical places to provide traction, but slick areas may linger through the weekend, until temperatures rise and rain clears the streets. People driving or biking are urged to use caution.

Everyone is urged to continue to clear sidewalks adjacent their home or business, as required by city code.

PBOT’s plowing has cut the number of road closures by two-thirds and made many roads passable in severe subfreezing conditions. Earlier in the week, the City of Portland had up to 25 road closures. With plowing and continued de-icing, that number was reduced to eight closures by 2 p.m. on Friday.

The City’s 518 miles of designated plow routes make up about 26 percent of city streets, as measured by the centerline distance from one point to another on a given street. That does not account for the multiple lanes on city streets.

PBOT snowplows, service vehicles and deicing trucks make multiple passes on each street to clear snow from all the travel lanes. Including multiple passes on the many lanes on the routes, these vehicles drove more than 6,000 miles in aggregate since Tuesday afternoon.

Working in conjunction with the Seattle Department of Transportation crews, PBOT conducted a test of road salt in three locations Thursday afternoon: SW Terwilliger between SW Sam Jackson Park Road and SW Capitol Highway; SW Broadway between West Burnside and Interstate 405; and N Going Street from Interstate, west on the N Lagoon Ave-Dolphin Ave-Channel Ave loop on Swan Island. The Seattle road crews applied road salt in one lane and PBOT crews applied Portland's standard liquid de-icer in the lane to the left of the Seattle crew.

In the initial assessment, the effect of the road salt was limited and did not provide significant improvement compared with the bureau’s standard de-icer. Since this experiment was limited in both duration and the number of locations, PBOT will continue to look for opportunities to assess alternative treatment options, including road salt, in the future.

PBOT is very grateful to the Seattle Department of Transportation for the opportunity to conduct this test. The exchange of technical and professional expertise that occurred between the two agencies is sure to be valuable in developing responses for future severe weather events in the northwest.

Public agencies requested towing of 251 abandoned vehicles

 Tows requested by public agencies between 6 p.m. Jan 10 and 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 13, 2016.

Chart of towed vehicles by agencies

To locate your vehicle that may have been towed in Portland, call Police Auto Records at 503-823-0044.


The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. Learn more at

Get Home Safe: Road Closures

The following roads are closed as of 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 19, 2017.



West Burnside at Hermosa -- Burnside is restricted to one lane westbound


 NW Santanita Terrace between Hermosa and MacLeay


For information on Multnomah County roads, see:

For information on road closures from state, county and city agencies across the Portland area, see 

Call 503-823-1700 to report road hazards in Portland. Our maintenance dispatchers are available 24/7.

Click here to learn more about winter weather travel in Portland.