Portland has picked a local bicycle-share company to run the city's long-awaited revamp of a public bike-rental program, even though the company has struggled to deliver a working system on time in other cities.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation today announced its choice of Alta Bicycle Share as its vendor finalist, with six months left until the city bike-share program is scheduled to debut.
"Alta Bicycle Share is a good, homegrown company that has emerged as an international leader in operating bike share systems," Mayor Sam Adams said in a statement.
Alta operates bike-share programs in eight other cities—and has encountered snafus in at least three. As previously reported in WW, Alta bike-share programs in New York City and Chicago have been delayed by software glitches in the rental kiosks.
And the completed Alta operation in Chattanooga, Tenn., has been dogged by technical bugs.
"It was frustrating," a tourist told the Chattanooga Times-Free Press in August, after trying and failing to rent a bike 13 times. "I was excited about using it, and now I have no confidence the system will work."
The Portland bike-share program is being funded by $2 million in federal transportation dollars.