News Release: Portland’s BIKETOWN Receives Equity Boost from the Community Cycling Center
Local nonprofit awarded grant to increase accessibility to new bike share system
PORTLAND, OR – May 11, 2015 – National bicycle advocacy organization PeopleForBikes announced today the recipients of the Better Bike Share Partnership grants across the country. Local nonprofit organization, Community Cycling Center, will receive a $75,000 grant to help increase access to Portland’s new bike share system through grassroots outreach and low-cost BIKETOWN memberships for people living in low-income housing communities.
Portland is poised to realize bike share’s promise to increase transportation and physical activity opportunities to high-need communities. For several years, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) worked with Verde, the Coalition of Communities of Color, and Motivate, the operator of BIKETOWN, to incorporate equity principles into the program. This resulted in progressive, industry-leading equity measures in the PBOT-Motivate bike share contract, known as the “High Road Standards.” In committing to uphold these standards, Motivate will offer affordable pricing; train and hire Portlanders from underserved populations, pay a living wage, and provide training on how to run bike share operations; and expand the service area to more high-need areas in the city.
“Our goal is to develop a bike share system that all Portlanders can enjoy,” said Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick. “In striving toward that goal, we are fortunate to work side-by-side with the Community Cycling Center. Congratulations on this grant. It’s a well-deserved recognition of your vision, your leadership and your effort on behalf of a more equitable and connected Portland.”
“The Community Cycling Center is such an effective and enthusiastic voice for broadening the appeal of bicycling,” said Director Leah Treat, “and this grant rightly recognizes this fact. They have been a strong partner of PBOT, and I look forward to working closely with them. Together we will make BIKETOWN a national model of how to create a bike share system with a robust equity focus.”
“Motivate is committed to building equitable, accessible bike share systems,” said Motivate President & CEO Jay Walder. “We’re proud to create good, green-collar jobs and to partner with organizations like the Community Cycling Center to work towards a BIKETOWN whose staff and membership reflect the diversity of Portland.”
The Community Cycling Center, founded in 1994, will leverage its years of expertise in providing adult bike safety education and earn-a-bike workshops to people living on low incomes. The Center has strong, existing relationships with social service agencies, affordable housing providers, and community networks. In their groundbreaking Understanding Barriers to Bicycling Project that began in 2008, the Community Cycling Center found that the two largest barriers to bicycling are access and cost.
The grant provides funding to further reduce the cost of BIKETOWN memberships for low-income residents and support grassroots outreach in low-income housing communities. The Community Cycling Center’s outreach goals are to help educate and equip residents by breaking down the barriers to using bike share. The outreach will be composed of a short class on bicycle safety and operation, and education on using the bike share system. Upon completion of the class, participants will earn a very low-cost membership.
Through the Better Bike Share grant and matching funds from Motivate, the operator of BIKETOWN, the Cycling Center will be able to provide the equivalent of 500 annual memberships and will work with Motivate and the local community to determine the best mix of membership types to encourage new audiences to try BIKETOWN.
“We’re really excited to have the opportunity to do this outreach right at the launch of BIKETOWN,” stated Mychal Tetteh, CEO of Community Cycling Center. “We want to support PBOT and Motivate in making this the most equitable bike share system in the country, ensuring that it’s accessible to people of all backgrounds.”
BIKETOWN Equity Facts:
– The current BIKETOWN service area map includes 13,100 affordable housing units.
– BIKETOWN will offer the lowest price point of any major bike share system in the U.S, allowing a broad cross-section of Portlanders to access the system for flexible trips.
– Motivate is committed to hiring a minimum of 50% of its positions through job training organizations, such as Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. and Constructing Hope.
About the Community Cycling Center:
The Community Cycling Center is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 that helps people access their community by bicycle. We partner with communities on neighborhood-based projects and programs. We believe that all Portlanders—regardless their income or background—should have the opportunity to choose healthy, active transportation. To learn more, visit www.CommunityCyclingCenter.org.
About People for Bikes:
PeopleForBikes works to improve bicycling in the U.S. by uniting millions of individuals, thousands of businesses and hundreds of communities. To learn more about ways PeopleForBikes supports national and local bike programs and bike infrastructure initiatives visit, join us at www.peopleforbikes.org.
Better Bike Share Partnership
The Better Bike Share Partnership is a collaboration funded by The JPB Foundation to build equitable and replicable bike share systems. The partners include The City of Philadelphia, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), and the PeopleForBikes Foundation.
About Bike Share:
A bike share system makes public bicycles available to ride from one point to another for a small fee. Bike share systems operate in over 60 US cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington DC, San Antonio, Indianapolis, Boise and Austin. 500 cities worldwide also have bike share systems. These systems have proved popular, safe and successful. They provide residents and visitors a convenient and fun transportation option for trips around the city. Bike share systems have proven effective in introducing bicycling to new groups of riders. Portland’s bike share system is called BIKETOWN. The FAQ about Portland’s system can be found at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/544363
Motivate (www.motivateco.com ) is a global leader in bike share. A full-service bike share operator and technology innovator, Motivate works to re-envision how people experience and move around cities. Motivate currently manages all of the largest bike share systems in the United States and many of the largest systems in the world, including Bay Area Bike Share (California Bay Area), Citi Bike (New York and Jersey City), Divvy (Chicago), CoGo Bike Share (Columbus, Ohio), Capital Bike Share (Washington, D.C.; Arlington and Alexandria, Va.; and Montgomery County, Md.), Hubway (Boston, Somerville, Cambridge and Brookline, Mass.), Pronto (Seattle), Bike Chattanooga (Tenn.), Bike Share Toronto and Melbourne Bike Share in Australia as well as Bay Area Bike Share. Motivate will add thousands of bikes to its current systems and launch a new bike share system in Portland, Oregon in 2016.
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. www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation. To learn more about PBOT’s efforts to encourage bicycle use and make safer routes for bicycling, see the bureau’s Active Transportation web site.