BIKETOWN for All, the program that provides Portland-area residents living on low incomes with a reduced-cost membership, has introduced significant changes to expand who qualifies for the program and to make it more convenient to sign up for the program.
Now individuals with an Oregon Trail Card are automatically eligible for BIKETOWN for All. A new online registration form also makes it easier and faster to sign up for the program. Along with Oregon Trail Card (EBT card) cardholders, Portlanders who are affiliated with participating affordable housing, social service and non-profit community organizations are also eligible for the program.
“BIKETOWN For All is a great example of Portland’s values being seen on the ground in our community," said Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman. "All Portlanders should have access to our bike share system, and the great partners we have here are making that a reality.”
"The more people who use BIKETOWN, the better," said PBOT Director Leah Treat. "That's our mantra and with these new changes, we're taking another significant step in the right direction. We are going to continue to look for innovative ways to expand the benefits of BIKETOWN to all Portlanders."
BIKETOWN for All is a partnership between the Community Cycling Center, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, Motivate, the Better Bike Share Partnership, and participating affordable housing communities, social service agencies, and local nonprofits serving Portlanders with low incomes.
BIKETOWN for ALL memberships are $3 per month and include unlimited rides up to 90 minutes per trip. (Full-cost memberships are $12 per month).
Participants can pay using a credit/debit card or with cash. Card-paying members can sign up immediately by visiting www.biketownforall.com and clicking the “Join BIKETOWN for All Now” button.
Cash-paying members can sign up by attending an in-person workshop. The three-hour workshop covers how to use the BIKETOWN bike share system and includes a group ride to teach essential skills for riding a bike in the city. Participants also receive a free helmet. Card-paying members are also welcome to attend these workshops, which are open to the general public. Those interested can visit www.biketownforall.com for more information.
BIKETOWN for All is funded by a grant from the Better Bike Share Partnership, as well as an in-kind donation from Motivate, the operator of BIKETOWN and other bike share systems across the country. Motivate is offering up to $54,000 by reducing the cost of 500 annual memberships to $3 per month. BIKETOWN also waives fees for parking BIKETOWN bikes outside of stations for BIKETOWN for All members.
Zoe Kircos of PeopleForBikes, which manages the Better Bike Share Partnership grant program says, "With these changes to BIKETOWN for ALL, our partners in Portland are helping more people benefit from the ease and convenience of bike share. We are happy to continue supporting these efforts."
Of the current 166 BIKETOWN for All members, over 65% pay in cash. They have ridden over 21,600 miles using BIKETOWN. BIKETOWN for All members have rebalanced over 3,000 bikes, reducing operation costs of manually bring bikes back to stations.
The Community Cycling Center has hosted 38 BIKETOWN for All workshops to date. Participating organizations include: Alder House; Harsch Properties; UGM Women and Children; Home Forward; Central City Concern; Street Roots; Native American Rehabilitation Association (NARA); Pacific Towers; Lagunitas; Sisters of the Road; Elders in Action NW; Cascade AIDS Project; Impact NW; and Humboldt Gardens.
Bike share can help reduce barriers to bicycling. A recent study conducted by PSU researchers that focused on equity in bike share concluded that bike share was well-suited to address many barriers to biking cited by low-income participants. These barriers included lacking a bicycle or being unable to afford one, lacking a safe place to store it at their home or end destination, and concerns related to mechanical troubles with one’s bike.