Only a few days after rolling out its new e-bike fleet, Biketown has suspended all service due to the dangerous air quality caused by the wildfires.
As of this afternoon, Portland has the second-worst air quality rating of any major city in the world, just behind Seattle. Last night, Mayor Ted Wheeler issued an executive order closing all city-owned outdoor areas until Sept. 24.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation made the announcement today on Twitter that it would suspend Biketown until further notice:
Biketown has suspended service due to weather before—service was halted during a snowstorm in 2017—but this is the first time since its launch in 2016 that it has suspended service due to air quality. This week, the bike-share program began a major expansion and put its first e-bikes on Portland streets.
According to a spokesperson for PBOT, Biketown will resume operations when Portland sees "significant and lasting improvement" in air quality, but the bureau does not have a pre-determined Air Quality Index number or duration of improvement that it will use to make that decision.