(July 16, 2020) - Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Lyft announced a new 5-year contract extending and expanding BIKETOWN, Portland's beloved bike-share system. With NIKE, Inc., BIKETOWN's founding partner, the bureau also announced an extension of the title sponsorship agreement through summer 2025. On July 22, the Portland City Council will consider the terms of both the contract extension and agreement for approval.
Launched in July 2016, the original BIKETOWN system made 1,000 bikes available for short-term rentals. Decked out in their signature orange, the bikes quickly became a popular transportation choice for Portlanders and visitors alike. In its first year alone, more than 75,521 BIKETOWN riders biked 602,266 miles -- a distance equal to biking to the moon three times! The system expanded twice over the years, now covering 19 square miles.
The new contract with Lyft proposes a significant expansion of the current system in September as well as the introduction of an all-new fleet of 1,500 electric pedal-assist bikes. When the rider pedals, these “e-bikes” use a small electric motor to boost the rider’s pedal power, making longer trips easier and more accessible. As part of the system expansion in September, BIKETOWN will reach areas of East Portland for the first time, including the Jade District, and portions of Lents, Powellhurst-Gilbert and the Gateway area, growing in coverage to 32 square miles.
Plans are for the system to grow to more than 40 square miles by 2024, with expansions further into East Portland and North Portland, including Kenton and St. Johns, as well as service to areas of Southwest Portland not covered currently. Over the same period, the fleet will increase to as much as 3,000 e-bikes.
BIKETOWN’s expansion is made possible in large part due to the extension of the sponsorship agreement with its founding partner. Nike will increase its BIKETOWN sponsorship with PBOT by more than $8 million through September 2025 — building on the initial $10 million sponsorship for the system’s first five years of operation.
The Oregon-based footwear and apparel leader will continue to shape the design of the system’s bikes, which has included the locally inspired “Community Design Challenge” and awareness-raising "Culture Collection” bike wraps. These bikes have celebrated the diversity of Portland’s bicycling culture, from individual neighborhoods to the city’s Black, Latinx, and additional diverse communities in Portland.
Nike’s support will also allow BIKETOWN to continue Adaptive BIKETOWN, the groundbreaking program to increase biking access for people with disabilities, and BIKETOWN for All, the system’s program for Portlanders living on low incomes. Through Nike’s support, Adaptive BIKETOWN added three electric-assist adaptive bicycles in 2018. Next year, PBOT and its operating partner Albertina Kerr plan to engage the community of people with disabilities to discuss enhancements to the program.
Map of service area and 2020 expansion (full PDF here)
“I’m very excited to bring both the new contract and the sponsorship extension to my City Council colleagues for their approval,” said Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “In four short years, BIKETOWN has become a Portland institution, making it easy for hundreds of thousands of people to get out of their cars and onto orange bikes. With this new contract and sponsorship agreement, we can now bring the benefits of bike-share to more of our fellow Portlanders.”
“This is a great day for transportation in Portland,” said PBOT Director Chris Warner. “More people are going to be able to ride BIKETOWN and thanks to the new fleet of e-bikes, we will dramatically extend the system’s range. Nike has been a fantastic partner and we’re extremely grateful for their continued dedication to bringing sustainable transportation to Portland.”
“BIKETOWN epitomizes Nike’s commitment to creating active communities and increasing access for all while embracing sustainability,” said Jorge Casimiro, Chief Social & Community Impact Officer for NIKE, Inc. “We believe Portlanders deserve access to affordable, active and sustainable transportation options. We’re extending our partnership to 2025 to help give even more people in our community – in more of our neighborhoods – the opportunity to ride and experience those benefits.”
“We are so excited to continue to serve riders in Portland and seamlessly provide access to bikeshare with just a few taps of the Lyft and BIKETOWN apps,” said Caroline Samponaro, Lyft’s Head of Transit and Micromobility Policy. “Alongside our partners at PBOT and Nike, this expansion will bring bikes to even more people in Portland as we focus on making sure the bikeshare system works for everyone.”
The expanded BIKETOWN will launch in September. Current BIKETOWN members will be automatically enrolled in the new system. Lyft will offer a new BIKETOWN app and users will also be able to rent bikes through the existing Lyft app.
For more details, see this colorful graphic
BIKETOWN is Portland’s bike-share system, launched 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 (PBOT) and NIKE, the program’s sole title sponsor. BIKETOWN is operated by Lyft, 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 U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Indianapolis, Boise, and Austin and another 500 cities worldwide that have popular, safe, and successful bike-share systems. biketownpdx.com
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. portland.gov/transportation
About NIKE, Inc.
NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world’s leading designer, marketer, and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment, and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned subsidiary brand Converse designs, markets, and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, NIKE, Inc.’s earnings releases, and other financial information are available at investors.nike.com. Individuals can also visit news.nike.com or follow @NIKE on social media.
Lyft was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, and is available to 95 percent of the United States population as well as select cities in Canada. Lyft is committed to effecting positive change for our cities and making cities more livable for everyone through initiatives that bridge transportation gaps, and by promoting transportation equity through shared rides, bikeshare systems, electric scooters, and public transit partnerships. Lyft