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News Release: Portland Debuts BIKETOWN for All

Portland becomes only the third US city to offer a cash option to purchase a bike share membership

Discounted memberships now available for Portlanders living on low incomes

(Oct. 27, 2016) - Delivering on its promise to develop an equitable bike share system, Portland’s bike share program, BIKETOWN, announced a new program today called BIKETOWN for All. The program will provide an opportunity for Portlanders living on low incomes to become members of BIKETOWN and pay with cash. It will also provide bike safety education and free helmets to BIKETOWN for All members.

BIKETOWN for All is a partnership between the Community Cycling Center (CCC), the Portland Bureau of TransportationMotivate, the Better Bike Share Partnership, and participating affordable housing communities, social service agencies and local nonprofits.

Portlanders living on low incomes and who are affiliated with participating housing, social service and community organizations can sign up and receive a discounted membership for $3 per month.

BIKETOWN for All was first piloted with the residents from Alder House Apartments in partnership with The Giving Tree NW, a community building organization. 

"Having a cash membership option is a game changer in making bike share accessible for low-income Portlanders," said the Giving Tree NW’s Heather Morrill. "I know I will see many of my clients riding BIKETOWN who otherwise would not have access to this transportation and recreation option."

“I’m getting more exercise and I’m getting things done at the same time,” said BIKETOWN for All member Jon Horton, who regularly uses BIKETOWN for both errands and getting to work. “Now with BIKETOWN, it cuts my commuting time for whatever I’m doing or wherever I’m going.”

Portland resident Sandy Crutchfield said, “I live in senior housing and I don’t have a car. I like to get outside as much as possible and I know the bikes will help me venture further. I am looking forward to new adventures thanks to BIKETOWN.”

The Community Cycling Center (CCC) will arrange with housing, social service or nonprofit organizations to promote BIKETOWN for All memberships with their residents or clients. The CCC will usually hold a workshop at the referring organization’s site describing how BIKETOWN works, including how to check out and unlock a bike. The workshop includes a bike ride covering essential skills for city bike riding. At the end of the workshop, participants can purchase a BIKETOWN for All membership at the cost of $9 for three months, or $3 per month. This membership provides the rider up to 90 minutes of daily ride time. To serve Portlanders without credit or debit cards, BIKETOWN has partnered with Portland Parks and Recreation to make cash payments possible.

“Since BIKETOWN’s launch this summer, we’ve heard from  Portlanders and visitors being able to use a bike in the city for the first time,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “But cost may be prohibitive for many people throughout the city who would like to give it a try. Thanks to the Community Cycling Center, we’ve been able to expand BIKETOWN, making it more equitable and accessible.”

“To help ease congestion, reduce our carbon footprint and support healthier lifestyles, we want to encourage Portlanders from all walks of life to enjoy the benefits of biking,” said PBOT’s Director, Leah Treat. “In less than four months, BIKETOWN has proven to be one of our most effective and visible means of spreading our active transportation message. Now with BIKETOWN for All, we’re taking a major step forward. By becoming only the third US city to offer a low-cost cash membership option, we are making it even easier for more Portlanders to get out and ride.”

"The launch of BIKETOWN earlier this year served as a powerful and promising beginning to a whole new way of experiencing bicycling in Portland,” said Mychal Tetteh, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Cycling Center. “At the Community Cycling Center, we believe that Portland’s bike share system should provide the highest levels of access and affordability. We are committed to developing the partnerships needed to ensure our bike share system meets the needs of the greatest number of people. We've begun developing cash-based options for Portland's unbanked residents through our BIKETOWN for All program. Creating access to bicycles that people can share remains at a core of our mission. We are excited to work with community partners to ensure that bike share is accessible and affordable to the greatest number of people in Portland."

Initially, BIKETOWN for All memberships will only be available through participating affordable housing, social service and nonprofit organizations. People interested in obtaining a BIKETOWN for All membership should speak to their case manager or resident service manager and ask them to complete an interest form available at www.BIKETOWNforAll.org. In the future, BIKETOWN for All workshops will be open to individuals who are not connected with a referral agency.  

BIKETOWN for All is funded in part by a grant from the Better Bike Share Partnership. Motivate is providing an in-kind donation of up to $54,000 by reducing the cost of 500 annual memberships to $3 per month.

Housing, social service or nonprofit organizations interested in participating in BIKETOWN for All should complete the interest form available at www.BIKETOWNforAll.org. Memberships are available now.

Video interviews with Heather Morrill of The Giving Tree NW and BIKETOWN for All member Jon Horton are available on PBOT’s YouTube channel.


About the Community Cycling Center

The Community Cycling Center is a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon dedicated to broadening access to bicycling and its benefits. Our vision is to build a vibrant community where people of all backgrounds use bicycles to stay healthy and connected. www.communitycyclingcenter.org

About BIKETOWN

BIKETOWN is Portland’s bike share system. It began on July 19, 2016 with 1,000 bikes available to ride from one point to another for a small fee. BIKETOWN is a partnership between the City of Portland’s Portland Bureau of Transportation and Nike, the program’s sole title sponsor. BIKETOWN is operated by Motivate, the world’s leading bike share operator. It uses innovative new “smart bikes” which make it easy to find, rent and park a BIKETOWN bike. BIKETOWN is designed to be affordable and accessible, encouraging even more Portlanders to ride and allowing visitors to experience the city by bike. Portland joins over 60 US cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington DC, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Boise and Austin and 500 cities worldwide that have popular, safe and successful bike share systems. biketownpdx.com

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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

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.