PORTLAND, Ore. — Biketown, the popular bike-share system known for its bright-orange bikes that has operated in Portland since 2016, has expanded its service area in Portland by nine square miles, an increase of 25%, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) announced Monday. The expansion reaches farther into East and North Portland.
One of the goals of the expansion is to reduce disparity among minority communities in access to public services, PBOT said in a news release. Biketown took into consideration many different criteria to determine the areas of greatest need in the city, including the results of a public survey, an equity and rider demand analysis, public transit and e-scooter ridership, community partnerships, and proximity to schools, local businesses and parks.
The East Portland expansion extends Biketown's service area into portions or all of Hazelwood, Mill Park, Parkrose and Parkrose Heights. The North Portland expansion adds the University of Portland and downtown St. John's to the service area, as well as all or large sections of the Arbor Lodge, Cathedral Park, Kenton, Portsmouth and University Park neighborhoods.
"For too long, our East Portland and North Portland neighborhoods have been lacking the city services and convenient transportation access that the rest of Portland takes for granted," Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said Monday at a news conference at Knott Park in East Portland. "I'm so glad to see PBOT prioritizing racial equity in expanding access to our bike share system."
A University of Portland spokesperson said the expansion will help students and staff at the university.
"We are excited that this expansion provides our students, faculty and staff with a sustainable transportation option to travel around the North Portland peninsula and connect to greater Portland," said Jennie Cambier, the associate vice president of land use and planning for the University of Portland.
Biketown, a partnership between PBOT and Nike, started in July 2016. It has grown to include 1,500 electric pedal-assist bicycles that serve a 32-square-mile service area. The agency has an eventual goal of serving more than 40 square miles in Portland and plans to expand the fleet to 3,000 e-assist bikes by 2024. Biketown is operated by Lyft. People can use the Lyft or Biketown app to find, rent and park a Biketown bike. Biketown also has a reduced-fare assistance program for riders who qualify.