Bike sharing program 'BIKETOWN' launches in Portland - KPTV - FOX 12

Bike sharing program 'BIKETOWN' launches in Portland

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The City of Portland and Nike launched BIKETOWN, a new bike sharing program, Tuesday morning.

1,000 bikes are now scattered throughout the Rose City, available to rent for a half hour, day or with an annual membership.

Customers can rent the bright orange bikes using a smartphone, computer, membership card or four-digit PIN.

Users are given a code to unlock the bikes from the many bike racks stationed throughout the area. They can return the bike to the same rack or to any other rack in Portland.

Riders can either pay $2.50 for a single ride of 30 minutes, $12 for a day pass with up to 180 minutes of riding time, or $12 a month for annual membership with up to 90 minutes of riding time a day.

The BIKETOWN program is a decade in the making and comes with a $4 million price tag. The program was funded by a federal grant and Nike, Inc.

"Together we created an innovative best in class bike share program that will inspire Portlander's and visitors alike to get active and have fun as they cycle around this beautiful city," Nike VP of Global Community Impact Jorge Casimiro said.

Portland riders are cheering the idea. Ed Klein was one of the first to take a trip over the Tilikum Crossing Tuesday.

"It is about time," Klein said. "It is about time, you know other cities have gotten this but I don't think any other city is this state of the art."

Skeptics of the idea fear the bikes will be a target for theft. The Portland Bureau of Transportation says theft rates in other cities with similar programs have been extremely low. They add with the unique branding and GPS tracking they are not an attractive target.

The city will have 20 kiosks across the city for riders to get bike access. You can find more information here: www.biketownpdx.com

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