Get ready for more bikes!!! Portland is anticipating the arrival of a bike share system in the spring of 2013. The system, popular around the globe and currently instituted in 16 US cities, allows residents and visitors a fast and inexpensive mode of travel. The fleet of rugged bikes will be docked at stations throughout the Portland area and be available for check out via a credit or debit card transaction, although a cash system is also being considered. The bike can then be used for any length of time and then returned to a docking station near your destination. The cost of the program is initially being funded through federal transportation funds, which are being used to leverage private money for the majority of the project. The bike share program will be operated by a private sector vendor, which has not been selected. Typically there is an initial daily or yearly membership cost and a fee for checking the bike out, although until the private sector partner is chosen that cost is yet to be determined. In other cities, member’s first 30 minutes of riding are typically free and a fee is introduced for any additional time. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is requesting resident’s input on geographical locations for the first phase of the program. An interactive online tool was created to allow people to choose a docking station, provide a description and comment on other’s locations. Visit the Portland Bike Share homepage to learn more about bike share programs across the United States and see videos of the program in action.
Photo by crosby_cj, Flickr Creative Commons