News Release: PBOT and Lyft launch BIKETOWN e-bike fleet and East Portland expansion today

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BIKETOWN, sponsored by NIKE, Inc., becomes Lyft’s first bikeshare system in the nation to go all-electric

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What's it like to ride a BIKETOWN e-bike? In this 60-second video, Portlanders from diverse communiites, including the areas where BIKETOWN is expanding today, tell you what it's like. One take: "Absolutely amazing!" Video by BIKETOWN.
What's it like to ride a BIKETOWN e-bike? In this 60-second video, Portlanders from diverse communiites, including the areas where BIKETOWN is expanding today, tell you what it's like. One take: "Absolutely amazing!" Video by BIKETOWN.

(Sept. 9, 2020) - Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Lyft launched a new fleet of pedal-assist electric bikes for BIKETOWN, Portland’s beloved bikeshare system known for its ubiquitous orange bikes. With the support of title sponsor NIKE, Inc., PBOT and Lyft are growing BIKETOWN’s service area today to 32 square miles, including its first expansion into East Portland, encompassing the Jade District and portions of Lents, Powellhurst-Gilbert and the Gateway area.

Riders are now able to rent e-bikes through the Lyft app or the new BIKETOWN app . Current BIKETOWN members will be automatically enrolled in the new system. BIKETOWN riders who have their smartphones set to update automatically will find the new app on their phones this morning. The new e-bikes provide an efficient and dependable transportation option for residents, workers, and visitors. When the rider pedals, the e-bikes use a small electric motor to boost the rider’s pedal power, making longer trips easier and more accessible.

BIKETOWN has 500 of the new e-bikes available today, and will grow the fleet to 1,500 e-bikes in the coming weeks. That compares with the 1,000 bicycles BIKETOWN has had since it first launched in 2016.

"I am so pleased that BIKETOWN is finally being deployed in East Portland," Transportation Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said. "This expansion is a significant advancement for transportation equity in East Portland, and it will increase sustainable transportation options for our entire city. I hope that the introduction of electric pedal-assist bikes to our fleet will encourage more Portlanders to try biking, and I look forward to the continued expansion of BIKETOWN for All and Adaptive BIKETOWN."

“Alongside our partners at PBOT and Nike, we are proud to expand transportation access for riders in Portland through the new BIKETOWN e-bikes and larger service area,” said Patrick Quintana, General Manager for Lyft Bikes in Portland. “With just a few taps on the Lyft and BIKETOWN apps, riders in Portland can access e-bikes to get around their city in a low-emission, low-effort way.”

“This is a great day for sustainable transportation,” Portland Transportation Director Chris Warner said. “With these new e-bikes, Portlanders will be able to go farther, make more trips by bike and experience the fun of riding with a pedal-assist motor. Today’s expansion is the culmination of years of effort by PBOT and our partners to reach East Portland, and I can’t wait to see how far we go together.”

When they log in to the new app, riders will find guidance and tips for how to use the new e-bikes. As with the original bikes, the new BIKETOWN e-bikes have a lock built in. That makes it easy to end a trip at a marked BIKETOWN rack, or for an extra fee, they can be locked to any public bike rack in the service area.

Also today, BIKETOWN unveiled a new 60-second video featuring community partners discovering the joy of riding the new e-bikes. The video includes members of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Black Girls Do Bike and Portland Community College. Look for the video and share it on your favorite social media channel today.

As part of its five-year contract extension announced in July, Lyft and PBOT are significantly expanding BIKETOWN’s service area and tripling the existing number of bikes over the next four years. By 2024, there will be 3,000 e-bikes in total and a service area of 40 square miles, including further expansion in East Portland and North Portland, including Kenton and St. Johns, with service to parts of SW Portland.

Map of service area and 2020 expansion

Map of service area and 2020 expansion
Map by Portland Bureau of Transportation.

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. Through Nike’s support, Adaptive BIKETOWN added two 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. With support from Nike, Lyft is also continuing to offer BIKETOWN for All, the system’s program for Portlanders living on low incomes.

For more details, see this colorful graphic

BIKETOWN infographic
Infographic by Portland Bureau of Transportation.

High resolution images of BIKETOWN e-bikes available

A BIKETOWN electric bike parked at a station
Photo by BIKETOWN.

PBOT BIKETOWN Lyft logo wrap

About BIKETOWN

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

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. 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.

About Lyft 

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