Portland Debuts BIKETOWN for All

Portland is excited to debut its BIKETOWN for All program! The program will provide an opportunity for Portlanders living on low incomes to become members of BIKETOWN and pay with cash. It will also provide bike safety education and free helmets to BIKETOWN for All members.

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BIKETOWN for All is a partnership between the Community Cycling Center (CCC), the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Motivate, the Better Bike Share Partnership, and participating affordable housing communities, social service agencies and local nonprofits.

Portlanders living on low incomes and who are affiliated with participating housing, social service and community organizations can sign up and receive a discounted membership for $3 per month.

BIKETOWN for All was first piloted with the residents from Alder House Apartments in partnership with The Giving Tree NW, a community building organization. Most of the Alder House residents interested in a BIKETOWN membership did not have a credit or debit card that was necessary to rent a bike share bicycle. To serve those residents and other Portlanders without credit or debit cards, BIKETOWN has partnered with Portland Parks and Recreation to make cash payments possible.

“Having a cash membership option is a game changer in making bike share accessible for low-income Portlanders, said the Giving Tree NW’s Heather Morrill. I know I will see many of my clients riding BIKETOWN who otherwise would not have access to this transportation and recreation option.”

“I’m getting more exercise and I’m getting things done at the same time,” said BIKETOWN for All member Jon Horton, who regularly uses BIKETOWN for both errands and getting to work. “Now with BIKETOWN, it cuts my commuting time for whatever I’m doing or wherever I’m going.”

Portland resident Sandy Crutchfield said, “I live in senior housing and I don’t have a car. I like to get outside as much as possible and I know the bikes will help me venture further. I am looking forward to new adventures thanks to BIKETOWN.”

The Community Cycling Center will arrange with housing, social service or nonprofit organizations to promote BIKETOWN for All memberships with their residents or clients. We will usually hold a workshop at the referring organization’s site describing how BIKETOWN works, including how to check out and unlock a bike. The workshop includes a bike ride covering essential skills for city bike riding. At the end of the workshop, participants can purchase a BIKETOWN for All membership at the cost of $9 for three months, or $3 per month. This membership provides the rider up to 90 minutes of daily ride time.

“Since BIKETOWN’s launch this summer, we’ve heard from Portlanders and visitors being able to use a bike in the city for the first time,” said Commissioner Steve Novick. “But cost may be prohibitive for many people throughout the city who would like to give it a try. Thanks to the Community Cycling Center, we’ve been able to expand BIKETOWN, making it more equitable and accessible.”

“To help ease congestion, reduce our carbon footprint and support healthier lifestyles, we want to encourage Portlanders from all walks of life to enjoy the benefits of biking,” said PBOT’s Director, Leah Treat. “In less than four months, BIKETOWN has proven to be one of our most effective and visible means of spreading our active transportation message. Now with BIKETOWN for All, we’re taking a major step forward. By becoming only the third US city to offer a low-cost cash membership option, we are making it even easier for more Portlanders to get out and ride.”

“The launch of BIKETOWN earlier this year served as a powerful and promising beginning to a whole new way of experiencing bicycling in Portland,” said Mychal Tetteh, Chief Executive Officer of the Community Cycling Center. “At the Community Cycling Center, we believe that Portland’s bike share system should provide the highest levels of access and affordability. We are committed to developing the partnerships needed to ensure our bike share system meets the needs of the greatest number of people. We’ve begun developing cash-based options for Portland’s unbanked residents through our BIKETOWN for All program. Creating access to bicycles that people can share remains at a core of our mission. We are excited to work with community partners to ensure that bike share is accessible and affordable to the greatest number of people in Portland.”

BIKETOWN for All workshop

Initially, BIKETOWN for All memberships will only be available through participating affordable housing, social service and nonprofit organizations. People interested in obtaining a BIKETOWN for All membership should speak to their case manager or resident service manager and ask them to complete the BIKETOWN for All interest form. In the future, BIKETOWN for All workshops will be open to individuals who are not connected with a referral agency.  

BIKETOWN for All is funded in part by a grant from the Better Bike Share Partnership. Motivate is providing an in-kind donation of up to $54,000 by reducing the cost of 500 annual memberships to $3 per month.

Housing, social service or nonprofit organizations interested in participating in BIKETOWN for All should complete the BIKETOWN for All interest form.

Photo credit: Jenny Jimenez/photojj.com

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