City Pushes to Fund $4.5 Million Bike Sharing Program Downtown

Portland Mercury:

Portland's Bureau of Transportation is asking city council to sign off on a request to pursue local funding for a long-discussed project that would bring a massive bike share program to downtown Portland. A bike sharing rack in Mexico City. If the project become a reality, 74 stations hosting 740 shared bikes would pop up throughout downtown and the very inner Eastside. The program envisions people taking 500,000 trips on the shared bikes in their first year of operation. "This is a transportation system that's meant to target new riders," says Bicycle Transportation Alliance policy advocate Gerik Kransky, who has been working on the plan with the city and more than a dozen other partners for about eight months. "It works well for people who might not be able to ride a bike from their home in Hillsboro to work, for example, but could grab a bike to ride to the dentist during lunch. We're viewing this as an extension of transit." But the project has got quite the pricetag—$4.5 million, with half of that planned to come from private matching funds. While the project has letters of support from some heavy hitters—including Mayor Sam Adams, Congressional Representative Earl Blumenauer, and over 1,000 signatures on a Bicycle Transportation Alliance bike sharing petition—the source of that money has some active transportation advocates worried. Is it really fair, some ask, to spend millions on downtown bike sharing when there's major basic transportation needs in undeserved parts of the city? [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Read the full article here. Discuss below.

connect with blueoregon