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Biketown to Get a Fleet of E-Bikes and Expand Into East Portland

The cost of riding is going up, too.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation has announced a major Biketown expansion and upgrade—the bike share program is going electric.

In September, the program's service area will expand by 13 square miles, stretching out to Foster-Powell, part of Lents and Hazelwood in the east, and Woodlawn and Arbor Lodge in North Portland.

During the service area expansion, Biketown will also roll out a new fleet of 1,500 pedal assist e-bikes.

The arrival of ride share e-bikes is long awaited. Accessible to a wider range of riders, e-bikes allow them to go faster and farther, often without breaking a sweat. Buying a personal e-bike, however, is likely to put you out a few thousand dollars.

Related: I Thought an E-Bike Was an Impulse Buy. But It Changed How I Thought About Bike Commuting.

Once Biketown's new e-bike fleet hits the streets, though, the cost of riding will go up: $1 per ride plus 20 cents per minute. An annual membership of $99 will charge 10 cents per minute but no fee per ride. The pay-by-ride fee is currently 8 cents per minute, and a $99 annual membership now charges no added fees but limits users to 90 minutes a day.

PBOT plans for Biketown to cover 40 square miles of Portland by 2024. The changes in September will mark Biketown's third expansion since it was launched in 2016.