City Biking Advocate, Linus Bike, Supports Portland's Bike Share Program

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After Portland was selected by the EPA as a candidate for a bike sharing program, the city will assess the issue this spring as part of a nationwide planning initiative. Linus Bike, city bike advocate and manufacturer, offers its support.

On March 4, Linus Bike, a bicycle manufacturer and advocate for city bike commuter safety, offers encouragement to the city planners of Portland, Oregon, after the city was chosen by the EPA as a candidate city for the development of a new bike sharing program.

According to The Portland Press Herald, “the EPA selected Portland and four other cities through a competitive process. As a result, staff from Alta Planning & Design, which is based in Portland, Ore., will come to Portland this spring and hold a series of workshops, likely in May, said Jeff Levine, the city's director of planning and urban development.”

The article reports that bike sharing programs “typically use heavy-duty bicycles stored at stations scattered around the city.” Members of Boston's share program, Hubway, pay an $85 annual fee and “can use a credit card or a key fob, a small device with a built-in authentication mechanism.” Non-members can rent a bicycle with a credit card for $32 for a three-hour rental. “Members can ride for a half-hour for free for an unlimited number of trips.”

Scott Mullen, general manager of Hubway, says that bike sharing programs are “set up so casual riders, such as tourists, subsidize frequent riders.” The system, Mullen adds, operates like other types of public transportation, where “users pick up a bicycle at one station, ride to another part of the city and leave the bicycle at another station near their destination.”

Despite Portland's relatively small population, Mullen said, the program should be successful because it's a "beautifully dense city and a magnet for tourists.” He predicts that Portland’s program could have between ten to fifteen stations, with about ten bicycles at each station. “He said the bicycles cost $1,000 each, and an individual station can cost from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the level of service.”

“Bike sharing programs are an impressive solution to several city commuting problems,” comments Jason Latty, sales representative for Linus Bike. “Establishing a city bike sharing program for a low-density population is trickier, but precedent shows us that cities like Portland with adequately dense infrastructure can successfully establish sharing programs that pay for themselves in practically no time at all, while reducing emissions, accidents, and transportation costs. And they can boost tourism. It's win-win-win.”

Linus Bike is a California-based bicycle manufacturer that specializes in creating vintage style city bikes and commuter bikes. Not simply a bicycle company, Linus Bike sells a complete line of accessories for the environmentally conscious and for those who have a fondness for European style bicycles and the great tradition of European cycling.

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Scott Darrohn
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