All you need is a credit card and basic cycling know-how to access the city’s bike-share program.
You probably noticed the whir of color and activity: In July 2016, a fleet of 1,000 bright-orange bikes with roomy baskets, robust frames, and cushy seats descended on Portland. Meet Biketown (biketownpdx.com), the city’s much-anticipated bike-share system, which offers more than 100 conveniently situated station hubs throughout the city, including a few in the Pearl District.
You’ll spot people on these orange bikes toting their pugs in the basket, commuting to school, hopping from pub to pub, shopping for groceries, or just happily gliding along the Waterfront Esplanade. Biketown makes it easy: the tracking system allows riders to unlock bikes from one hub and return to any other hub or public bike rack.
It’s an affordable way to get around, too: $2.50 for a one-way trip of up to 30 minutes, $12 for 24-hour access with 180 minutes of ride time and unlimited trips, $12 per month for 90 minutes of ride time and unlimited trips per day. Portlanders who qualify as lower-income can get a monthly membership for just $3 per month.
It’s no surprise that three of the most used bike-share hubs are in the Pearl. “It’s the perfect neighborhood for this program,” says Dorothy Mitchell, Biketown’s general manager. “It’s a tourist destination famous for its restaurants and shopping, as well as a place where people work and live. Parking is very tight. So Biketown is ideal for running an errand or hitting a wine bar.”
It’s also a splendid fit with the Portland ethos of environmental consciousness. Bike-sharing expands transportation possibilities in the city, joining forces with public transportation and car sharing, to give residents even more extensive and accessible alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles. It feels pretty nice slipping past traffic gridlock, too.
“I recently heard from a family who didn’t buy a second car because of Biketown,” Mitchell says. “That’s what gets me really fired up.” –Ellee Thalheimer | Photos courtesy of Biketown PDX
FACTS & FIGURES
1.6 Average trip distance in miles // 71 Percentage of users who rent bikes for shopping and dining // 9 & 90 Number of bike-station hubs and bikes in the Pearl District // 7 Depth of the bike basket in inches // 20 Number of pounds the bike basket can hold // 330,000 Number of miles pedaled with Biketown // 168,000 Number of trips taken with Biketown
STILL HAVEN’T TRIED BIKETOWN?
Download the BIKETOWNPDX mobile app and enter the promo code PEARL17 to enjoy your first ride free.