Portland, OR

Electric bike-sharing service expands to serve communities of color

Liam Ford

Transportation commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty announces an expansion of the BIKETOWN service area at Knott Park today.| Photo via Portland Bureau of Transportation

PORTLAND, OR — The Portland Bureau of Transportation today announced the expansion of the BIKETOWN bicycle-sharing system.

“This is an exciting milestone in our efforts to ensure everyone has safe, convenient access to biking in Portland,” said transportation commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, according to a news release. “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.”

Hardesty was speaking at a news conference in Knott Park in East Portland, which is now part of the BIKETOWN service area.

Operated by Lyft, BIKETOWN’s service area has been expanded by nine square miles, covering parts of East and North Portland, areas that are home to higher percentages of communities of color.

“I'm so glad to see PBOT prioritizing racial equity in expanding access to our bike share system,” Hardesty added.

The BIKETOWN service area has increased by 25 percent, effective today.| Photo via Portland Bureau of Transportation

In East Portland, BIKETOWN now services portions or all of Hazelwood, Mill Park, Parkrose, and Parkrose Heights.

The North Portland expansion brings into the service area the University of Portland, downtown St. Johns, and sections or all of Arbor Lodge, Cathedral Park, Kenton, Portsmouth, and University Park.

BIKETOWN launched in July 2016 with 1,000 electric pedal-assist bicycles. The original service area covered 32 square miles. The fleet now comprises 1,500 bicycles across 41 square miles.

It is a partnership between the PTOB and Nike.

The BIKETOWN for All program waives the per-minute and monthly membership fees for eligible low-income people and college students on financial aid.

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