My sister sent me a link to a story this morning about Portland Oregon’s new bikeshare service. I was surprised to discover that the Rose City didn’t already have bikeshare, but then again, just about everybody in Portland owns a bicycle.
The new system is run by a company called Motivate LLC. They’re based in Brooklyn and run bikeshare programs in numerous cities across the US and Canada…cities like Toronto.
Portland’s system will be slightly different in a couple of ways. One, it’s going to be dirt cheap. Monthly memberships will come in between $10 and $15 vs. $18 (CDN) in Toronto. Two, it uses technology like GPS and integrated locks that allow users to leave the bicycle in any old rack when they’re done with it. You won’t have to hunt down a docking station or walk four blocks to your destination. That’s pretty cool.
Bikeshare is a viable transportation solution in many markets. The best systems have lots of bikes, lots of locations and make it easier and more convenient to share than it is to own a bike or even a car for that matter. By all accounts, Portland is doing it right. I’m not surprised. Kudos.