Portland, Nike buys the city a smart, cheap bike sharing programme

The sportswear brand paid 10 million dollars for this new bike share programme. With Nike’s sponsorship Portland’s affordable system of bikes will grow from 600 to 1,000.

Portland will have a branded bike system. Its official name is Biketown but it’s also called “Nike-sharing”: the sportswear brand based in Beaverton, few kilometres away from the capital Oregon, allocated 10 million dollars to support it.


This is a way to promote the brand as well as physical activity and mostly cycling. The sum allocated by Nike added to the money allocated by the federal government and the Oregon Department of Transportation and with Nike’s sponsorship the system grew from six hundred to one thousand bicycles.


bike sharing portland nike
The bike is orange like the clour of the sportswear brand that financed Portland’s bike sharing programme with 10 million dollars © Nike


Portland has long been a bike-friendly metropolis so much so it ranked third in the 2015 ranking of top 50 bike-friendly US cities. According to some surveys, the bike share programme increased the citizens’ will to mount on their bikes. When they were asked “how often do you ride a bike?” 39% of the people answered “once a week or more”, a figure that grew to 76% after that the interviewed people used the bike sharing system. When asked “what do you like the most about bike sharing” 54% of the people answered “the value for money”, then physical activity and fun.


Here are the prices: 10-15 dollars a month for an annual subscription or 2.50 dollars every thirty minutes, making them one of the cheapest programme in North America. Subscribers will have available 90 minutes a day but a new possibility of introducing a price per minute.

The bike sharing should implement the city’s public transportation system of buses and trains, aiming to develop one of the most affordable, flexible and sustainable systems in the world. The concept of smart bike, a bicycle that doesn’t require electronic racks and is unlocked using a PIN code, has been developed.


The service will be used with a smartphone, a computer or a subscribers’ card. Besides the numerous bike stations all around the city, there will be more than 3,000 public racks available by paying an extra charge. This system allows to balance the number of bikes in all the areas of the city also thanks to a GPS system functioning in real-time.


This bike sharing programme conceived in collaboration with Socialbicycles plays also a social role thanks to the equity plan aimed to offer a bargain price and expand the area where it is used to low-income districts. Biketown will be launched in July 2016.

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