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City Leaders Celebrate Bike Share Passage

Thursday, September 24, 2015
GoLocalPDX News Team

Mayor Charlie Hales; courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation
On Thursday, Mayor Charlie Hales, joined by City Council Commissioners Steve Novick and Nick Fish and other city officials, celebrated the City Council's passing of Portland's bike share program with executives from Social Bicycles, who will be operating the bike share.

“Starting this summer, Portlanders will have another way to get around our great city,” Hales said. “One that is easy to use, affordable and, best of all, a lot of fun.”

Legislation for the bike share passed the City Council by majority vote earlier this week. It extends Portland’s contract with Motivate and Social Bicycles

The new system will feature 600 bicycles located throughout Central City and inner North Portland. It will operate with fewer docking stations and kiosks and feature a lower price point than most bike share in other cities.

“We waited a long time for the right bike share proposal, but it was worth the wait,” Commissioner Novick said. “We have a great, experienced partner in Motivate; and we are taking advantage of new ‘smart bike’ technology. Bicycles are great weapons against two of the biggest threats we face: climate disruption and rising health care costs. Bike share is a great addition to our arsenal - and it's also an important tourist amenity.”

Commissioner Steve Novick; courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation
Cycling in Portland on the Rise

Also on Thursday, the Portland Bureau of Transportation released the Portland Bicycle Count Report 2013-14, a study on changing in cycling trends in the city. While the U.S. Census Bureau reports on citywide bicycle use, the Bicycle Count Report includes more specialized, local data.

Cycling is becoming a more year-round activity, as data on bicycle riding on the Hawthorne Bridge showed that bicycle use on the bridge between November and March grew to 54 percent. Use of the Willamette River bridges also topped 20,000 weekday trips for the first time last year.

The report also found that women began riding bikes more in 2014, as bicycle use among women climbed to 32 percent, a record high for the city. 

Ryan Rzepecki, CEO of Social Bicycles, said growing numbers like those are one of the reasons the company is excited to renew their contract with the City of Portland.

“We believe Portland has the infrastructure, bike culture, and density to become one of the most successful programs in the world,” Rzepecki said.

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