The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and BIKETOWN, operated by Lyft, announced that BIKETOWN is expanding its service area by 9 square miles, growing by 25 percent, effective today. With this announcement, BIKETOWN, Portland’s beloved bike-share system known for its ubiquitous orange bikes and supported by founding partner Nike, continues to execute on its goal of expanding further into East and North Portland, areas with a high percentage of communities of color that have been underserved by transportation.
BIKETOWN kicked off the expansion planning process in the summer of 2021 with an online public survey that gathered nearly 650 responses over several months. PBOT and Lyft used the survey results along with an equity and rider demand analysis to determine the expansion boundaries. PBOT staff used the bureau's equity matrix to identify areas of greatest need, to advance the city's goal of reducing disparities in access to public services. Other criteria included public transit and e-scooter ridership, community partnerships and proximity to popular destinations such as schools, local businesses, and parks.
With the East Portland expansion, BIKETOWN’s service area now includes portions or all of Hazelwood, Mill Park, Parkrose, and Parkrose Heights. In North Portland, the expanded service area brings in the University of Portland and downtown St. Johns. It also includes all or large sections of the Arbor Lodge, Cathedral Park, Kenton, Portsmouth, and University Park neighborhoods, providing a much-needed sustainable transportation option for residents, students and visitors.
Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty announced the expansion at a news conference at Knott Park, an East Portland community gathering space in the Parkrose Heights neighborhood that is now part of the BIKETOWN service area.
"This is an exciting milestone in our efforts to ensure everyone has safe, convenient access to biking in Portland," Hardesty said. "For too long, our East Portland and North Portland neighborhoods have been lacking the city services and convenient transportation access that the rest of Portland takes for granted. I'm so glad to see PBOT prioritizing racial equity in expanding access to our bike share system. With the collaboration with private sector partners like Nike and Lyft, we can continue our efforts to reduce our carbon emissions and make sure everyone has an opportunity to enjoy sustainable transportation options."
"With this expansion, BIKETOWN makes biking more accessible to more Portlanders," Transportation Director Chris Warner said. "In East Portland and North Portland, PBOT staff will continue to work with community partners to spread BIKETOWN stations and the street improvements that make biking safer and more comfortable for everyone."
“With this expansion, we are offering more Portlanders the opportunity to take essential trips, whether that’s to the grocery store, school, or wherever they are going,” said Patrick Quintana, General Manager for BIKETOWN at Lyft. “We’re proud to be able to continue to provide a sustainable, affordable transportation option to the people of Portland and we look forward to our continued partnership with PBOT.”
“BIKETOWN is a pinnacle reflection of Nike’s belief in the power of sport to create change – by building active communities, increasing access for all and embracing sustainability,” said Caitlin Morris, VP Social & Community Impact for NIKE, Inc. “We’re thrilled that our partnership with PBOT is helping to benefit more Portlanders, in more neighborhoods, with active, affordable and sustainable transportation options.”
“We are excited that this expansion provides our students, faculty and staff with a sustainable transportation option to travel around the North Portland peninsula and connect to greater Portland,“ said Jennie Cambier, Associate Vice President Land Use and Planning for the University of Portland, which is located in the part of today's expansion in North Portland.
Last year, PBOT and BIKETOWN added additional eligibility criteria for the BIKETOWN for All program, dramatically increasing access to electric assist bike-share for all people on low incomes, and college students on financial aid throughout the city. Through these additions, Portlanders who qualify for BIKETOWN for All through other eligibility criteria are also eligible for a free membership. This benefit waives the 5 cents a minute ride fee (for up to 60-minute rides) and $5 a month membership fee, which are already a significant discount compared with the cost of an annual membership.
An additional launch last year for BIKETOWN riders was Bike Angels, a point-based incentive program that encourages riders to return free-standing bikes to less populated BIKETOWN stations across the city in exchange for redeemable points that can be used for future rides. Through providing continued support for communities in need of accessible and affordable transportation and introducing the Bike Angels program, BIKETOWN has demonstrated commitment to making it easier for the people of Portland to experience the excitement of riding an e-bike.
Source: Portland Bureau of Transportation