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Nike to partner with Portland Bike Share; launch set for this summer


COURTESY: PORTLAND BUREAU OF TRANSPORATION  - Mayor Charlie Hales stands with a smart bike in September just after City Council passed the Bike Share ordinance. PBOT is announcing a significant new program partnership with Nike. Portland's Bike Share program just got the last major piece it was waiting for: a "significant new partnership" with Nike.

Portland Bureau of Transportation officials announced the development Wednesday afternoon with no further details.

PBOT Director Leah Treat and transportation Commissioner Steve Novick are scheduled to formally make the announcement Thursday morning at Nike's Portland Community Store in Northeast Portland.

Joining them will be Jorge Casimiro, vice president of global community impact for Nike, Inc.

Portland City Council unanimously gave the green light to a Portland Bike Share program on Sept. 23.

It's set to debut this summer.

At least 60 U.S. cities and 500 worldwide have a bike share program — a public bike rental system for short trips.

Portland users will able to pay a small fee ($2.50 for 30 minutes of use) and ride a bike from one point to another, using smart technology to pick up and and park at about 3,000 locations.

COURTESY: PORTLAND BUREAU OF TRANSPORTATION  - Portland's Bike Share program is set to launch this summer. No city money will pay for the operations. Initial service will feature 600 smart bikes stationed downtown, in Old Town/Chinatown, inner Northwest, Goose Hollow, South Waterfront, the West End, Pearl District, Central Eastside, Rose Quarter, Lloyd District and inner North Portland.

PBOT says no city money will be used for Bike Share operations.

The program will be primarily funded by a $2 million federal grant, approved by the Metro Council in 2011.

The Oregon Department of Transportation will also fund a bike share station at Union Station.

The federal grant requires a 10-percent match requirement that the city plans to meet with reimbursements from "transportation demand management programs."

User revenues and sponsor support will also pay for the operations.

Bike Share advocates have been clamoring for the program for years, to provide a low-cost, flexible transportation option as well as to help the city meet many of its livability and climate change goals.

The city has partnered with two Brooklyn-based companies: Motivate, a bike share operator that runs all of the country's major bike share programs; and Social Bicycles, a transportation technology company that will provide the integrated GPS-enabled locking system that users can book via mobile app, website, or RFID access card.

“Starting this summer, Portlanders will have another way to get around our great city — one that is easy to use, affordable and, best of all, a lot of fun," Mayor Charlie Hales said in September, just after the Council passed the Bike Share ordinance.

Added Novick: “We waited a long time for the right bike share proposal, but it was worth the wait. 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.”

For more: portlandoregon.gov/transportation/57983.