Portland's signature orange bikes are now available to ride for a fraction of the price—but only if absolutely necessary.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is slashing the fees to use Biketown, the city's bikeshare system, so residents have an affordable mode of transportation to purchase groceries or prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rides on the pay-as-you-go plan will now cost only a penny per minute, with a one-time, 10-cent sign-up fee. Normally, the enrollment charge is $5, and trips cost 8 cents per minute. The discount applies not just to new users, but current annual and month-to-month members as well.

PBOT has also partnered with Spin—one of the e-scooter companies still on the streets—to reduce the cost of scooter rentals by 50 percent and add 250 scooters to the city's fleet.

And if you're a health care worker, you can apply online for free, unlimited 30-minute rides and a helmet as part of the company's "Everyday Heroes" program.

Both the Biketown and Spin discounts last through the end of April, though the scooter price break may be extended.

PBOT stresses that all trips should be for essential purposes—otherwise, follow public health directives and stay home. Do not forget to wash your hands or use sanitizer after each ride, too.