The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Biketown announced Monday that the service area covered by the orange, electric bike-share system has expanded, growing by 9 square miles to include St. Johns and deep East Portland—out to Southeast 135th Avenue in some places.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees PBOT, announced the expansion this morning in the Parkrose Heights neighborhood’s Knott Park.
“For too long, our East Portland and North Portland neighborhoods have been lacking the city services and convenient transportation access that the rest of Portland takes for granted.” Hardesty said. “I’m so glad to see PBOT prioritizing racial equity in expanding access to our bike share system.”
When the bike-share program began in 2016, Biketown bikes (so named because the athletic wear company Nike sponsored the program’s launch) were a fleet of orange cruisers. In 2020, PBOT upgraded the fleet to electric assist bikes and grew the program’s service area to cover 32 square miles.
PBOT planned to expand Biketown again and hit 40 square miles or more before 2024. A representative for Biketown confirmed for WW that—with this project—the office reached its goal far ahead of schedule. Biketown’s total service area is now 40 square miles.
The North Portland growth extends service to large sections of the Arbor Lodge, Cathedral Park, Kenton and Portsmouth neighborhoods. On the city’s eastside, portions of Hazelwood, Mill Park, Parkrose, and Parkrose Heights will now contain kiosks and the distinctive orange bikes.
A note to new riders: The Biketown e-bikes are sturdier and easier to ride than an electric scooter and just as fun—but all your stuff will fly out of the basket if not secured. Sometimes even then.