A hundred Biketown racks have been placed around Portland’s inner city with 1,000 bikes in use. In four days 1,960 single ride passes and 441 day passes were sold.

To rent a bike, you first have to create an account at biketownpdx.com or download the Biketown smartphone app for iPhone or Android. You can also visit one of 20 Biketown stations equipped with a computerized kiosk. For $2, they dispense a reusable member card which you can tap instead of entering a member number, although you will still need to use a PIN number. You can reserve a bike online or on the app, or you can simply walk up to a bike that’s not in use and rent it with your member ID and PIN.

A single ride, about 30 minutes, will cost $2.50. A day pass, good for 180 minutes of ride time is $12. The bikes have eight-speeds and weigh about 45 pounds so they aren’t exactly built for speed. The rider sits upright which helps make the bike safer and the front and back lights turn on automatically. A bell is activated by turning the left handlebar grip. They don’t come with helmets however, so if you like to wear one, bring your own.

The city is installing maps of bicycle-friendly routes at Biketown kiosks. The app includes maps of bike routes and trip-planning tools that direct riders and tourists to different routes.

Biketown is a City of Portland initiative similar to the Tram and the Streetcar. It is owned by the City of Portland, operated by Motivate, the world’s leading bike share operator and Nike is a partner (note the color and swoosh). The planning and station siting process was created by City employees at the Portland Bureau of Transportation.  NT