We know from our work creating the TriMet Bike Plan that our riders care about and rely on bike access. When BIKETOWN, Portland’s public bike share system, makes its debut tomorrow, many riders will have a new option for connecting to transit. That it’s healthy, fun and convenient is icing on the cake.
How does BIKETOWN work?
Unlock a ride at the station using the computer and keypad on the back of the bike, and you’re on your way.
When you’re done, lock up at the station — the smart bike will know that you’ve finished your ride.
We like bike share because it extends the reach of transit, making trips by bus or train more accessible to more people. It also helps to make one-way bike trips possible and reduces barriers to biking like ownership, storage, maintenance and concerns about theft.
I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing how riders combine trips between BIKETOWN and TriMet. Personally, I’m excited to use bike share for short trips, connections to daytime meetings, getting out of the office for lunch and running errands after work.
A few things about BIKETOWN I’d like to point out:
- If you ride on the Transit Mall (5th and 6th avenues) in Downtown Portland, be sure to stay on the left side of the roadway in the shared lanes and bike lane on portions of SW 5th. Please stay out of the transit lane(s) on the right side of the roadway, as these spaces are only for buses and trains.
- Don’t bring the bikes on board. One of the best things about bike share is that you only use it when you need it — just park or pick up a bike wherever you’re connecting to the bus or train. (Plus, it doesn’t make sense to pay for bike share time on top of your transit fare.)
- When you end your ride, if the BIKETOWN station closest to your destination is full, you can lock your bike at a public bike rack close to the station marked with an orange sticker for no additional charge. If you lock your bike at a public bike rack further from a station, a $2 fee applies.
- The bikes don’t come with helmets, so bring your own if you want one and you plan on riding that day. Keeping a helmet at the office might be a good idea if you plan on riding during the day.
- Cross tracks straight on. Crossing tracks at an angle or turning across tracks is risky — your wheel can slip into the trackbed and result in a crash. When in doubt, walk your bike across the tracks and check out these safety tips for riding a bike around transit vehicles.
- You can make money using BIKETOWN. A little bit, anyway: Members who spot bike share bikes locked at public racks will be rewarded with a $1 account credit for returning them to a station.
- Sneaker Bikes!
There are 100 BIKETOWN stations, which means lots of overlap with transit in Portland — take a look at the service area and station map to see what your next trip might look like.
As BIKETOWN establishes itself, we’ll continue working with our partners to encourage smooth connections for transit and bike riders. We hope to see you on a bright orange bike soon!