PORTLAND, OR (September 9, 2015) — Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish announced an innovative bike share system for Portland. The proposed system will be operated by Motivate LLC, the nation’s leading bike share operator. Bicycles will be provided by Social Bicycles, a company on the cutting-edge of integrating new software and hardware technology into its products. The proposal will be considered by City Council on Wednesday, September 16th.
Together, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Motivate and Social Bicycles have designed one of smartest, large-scale bike share systems in the nation. This smart bike technology – which puts all communications and locking technology on the bike itself – will allow Portland’s system to operate with fewer docks and kiosks. This will save money and allow users to lock bicycles at many existing city bike corrals. The technology will also allow the City and Motivate to pilot an innovative approach to rebalancing bicycles that will reduce the reliance on rebalancing vehicles. This will help to make Portland’s bike share system one of the greenest in the nation. Overall, the system will make it substantially easier to find, reserve and park a bike.
The proposed initial system of 600 bikes is one of the most affordable bike sharing systems in the United States. The system also integrates principles of the High Road Standards that prioritizes accessibility to underserved communities and includes training and hiring opportunities for living-wage careers.
“This proposed contract is a great business decision for Portland,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “We’re working with the leading bike share company in the country. As Motivate has proven in New York, Chicago, Boston and Washington DC, bike share systems provide a valuable transportation amenity for residents and tourists alike.”
“With this next generation bike share system, Portland has once again shown why we’re the country’s best city for bicycling,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “The proposed system will be one of the country’s most technologically sophisticated and environmentally sustainable. It’s a system that Portlanders can be proud of.”
“I have been a proud supporter of bike share since 2011,” said Commissioner Nick Fish. “It will provide another healthy and sustainable transportation choice. Congratulations to Steve and Leah on reaching this important milestone for Portland bike share.”
“Bringing bike share to Portland is one of my top priorities,” said Leah Treat, Director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation. “Bike share is a very effective way to raise the visibility of bicycling and to encourage new people, especially women, to try biking as a transportation option.”
“More choices to get around means less time in traffic and more access to opportunity,” said Metro Councilor Sam Chase. “I’m excited to see bike share become yet another great option for people in this region, particularly with this system’s commitment to affordability and equity.”
Motivate CEO Jay Walder said, “Portland is one of the best bike cities in the country, and we’re tremendously excited to be a part of expanding bicycling in a community with such a robust bike culture. We think that the City that has been on the cutting edge of bike innovation deserves one of the most innovative bike share system in the nation.”
Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen Inc., Connie Ashbrook, championed the proposal by saying, “We’re excited about the employment opportunities that Portland’s bike share system will offer our graduates. It will also provide our students and graduates an affordable, flexible transportation choice.” Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. is a non-profit that prepares low income women for high-wage, high-skilled construction careers.
The cost of the bicycles will be funded with $2 million in federal grants allocated through Metro’s regional flexible funds process. User revenues and anticipated sponsor support will pay for operating the system. No City money will be used for bike share operations.
City Council will consider the proposed bike share system in its morning session on Wednesday, September 16th.
About Bike Share: A bike share system makes public bicycles available to ride from one point to another for a small fee. Bike share systems operate in over 60 US cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington DC, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Boise and Austin. 500 cities worldwide also have bike share systems. These systems have proved popular, safe and successful. They provide residents and visitors a convenient and fun transportation option for trips around the city. Bike share systems have proven effective in introducing bicycling to new groups of riders.
About Motivate: Motivate (www.motivateco.com ) 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 currently manages all of the largest bike share systems in the United States and many of the largest systems in the world, including Bay Area Bike Share (CA), Citi Bike (NYC), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, Ohio), Capital Bike Share (DC metro.), Hubway (Boston metro.), Pronto (Seattle), Bike Chattanooga (TN), Bike Share Toronto, and Melbourne Bike Share in Australia. Motivate’s newest system is Citi Bike Jersey City, NJ, that will be compatible with New York City’s Citi Bike program.
About Social Bicycles (SoBi): Social Bicycles (SoBi) is a transportation technology company based in Brooklyn, NY. The company produces a bicycle with an integrated GPS-enabled locking system that users can book via mobile app, website, or RFID access card. The company has deployed over 2,500 bikes across 18 projects in the United States, Canada, and Australia. Social Bicycles offers one global account, and users can access bikes in their expanding network of cities which includes Santa Monica, Orlando, Tampa, Phoenix, Boise, Topeka, Hamilton (Ontario), and Ottawa.
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
John Brady, Portland Bureau of Transportation
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