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News Blog: BIKETOWN bike-share is planning to expand. Where they expand depends on you.

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The BIKETOWN bike-share program is seeking input on an expansion of its service area in Portland, including adding new stations. These plans are in their infancy, so the BIKETOWN team at the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is seeking the public's help determining where they
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This image shows someone using a smart phone to unlock a Biketown bicycle to go for a ride
BIKETOWN makes it easy and convenient to go by bike. This photo shows one of the many BIKETOWN station across the service area. Photo by BIKETOWN.

By Benjy Ross

The BIKETOWN bike-share program is seeking input on an expansion of its service area in Portland, including adding new stations. These plans are in their infancy, so the BIKETOWN team at the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is seeking the public's help determining where they should expand to.

Since it started in 2016, BIKETOWN has grown to encompass 32 square miles, far beyond downtown Portland, to the Jade District in Southeast Portland, to Cully in Northeast.

There's still room to grow, to serve more of Portland, and to provide more stations within the existing service area.

PBOT's Leeor Schweitzer shared out a new community survey at the bureau's monthly Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 8. As discussed there, here are the three primary factors the BIKETOWN team is using to consider an expansion:

  • Quantitative data analysis that considers and combines a variety of data sets. The analysis focuses on equity indicators such as percent of the population that is Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), percent that is low income, affordable housing, and transit access. The analysis also includes demand indicators such as shared e-scooter ridership, commercial and residential density, parks, grocery stores, and TriMet ridership.
  • Community input through a survey. Where do you want new BIKETOWN stations to be? Where will you travel to by e-bike? The BIKETOWN team is gathering input now through an interactive, map-based community survey. They are looking for input from community members and organizations. If you have problems accessing the survey, or have additional input, please email your feedback to SharedMicromobility@portlandoregon.gov
  • Other community engagement. The BIKETOWN team will be attending events and working directly with community partners to hear from Portlanders directly about where they would like to see BIKETOWN expand to and what barriers they face using the system. This outreach will focus on areas not currently served by BIKETOWN and hearing from BIPOC community members. The BIKETOWN team will also attend various community meetings. If you would like BIKETOWN to present at and gather feedback at meeting with your organization, please email SharedMicromobility@portlandoregon.gov 

Committee members had a variety of suggestions for the expansion. Among other things, they encouraged staff to make sure to serve BIPOC-owned businesses and business districts, specifically large Asian grocery stores. And they asked PBOT to work with the Safe Routes to School program to provide parents access to BIKETOWN if they want to bike with their kids but don’t have access to a bicycle.

With this future expansion comes major opportunities to provide new, affordable, alternative transportation options to people thirsty for options that don't involve driving a vehicle.

Fill out the Survey and get entered to win a $25 Fred Meyer gift certificate or $50 in BIKETOWN credit!

BIKETOWN's last major expansion was in September 2020. The expansion included 13 new square miles of service in Portland, 1,500 new pedal-assist electric bikes, replacing all of the pedal-only bikes, and 30 new stations.

The BIKETOWN team estimates this new expansion could add another eight square miles of service.

Help decide where to expand this important travel option for Portlanders. Take the community survey today.

Benjy Ross is a Communications Assistant with PBOT Communications & Public Involvement and a student at Reed College in Southeast Portland.

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. Learn more at portland.gov/transportation