Uber subsidiary is bringing bikeshare to Portland

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By Hailey Wood, Staff Writer

In late January the city of Portland issued a request for proposals from bikeshare programs. JUMP, a bikeshare program owned by Uber, responded to the request.

JUMP was founded as Social Bicycles and has been in the bikeshare business since 2010. In 2018, the company was partnered with and then acquired by Uber.

The city is optimistic that the one year pilot will be launched in the summer of 2019.

JUMP wants to start by releasing 200 bikes into the Portland area, with a goal of 500 bikes in total.

The program will not use city funds and the cost will be out of JUMP’s pocket.

The bikes being deployed by JUMP have low-powered electric motors that can assist riders in uphill or long rides.

The bikes are paid for and unlocked by riders using smartphones and PINs inside the Uber app. When done riding, the bike is locked again and then it can be used by the next person.

The cost of using JUMP bikes varies throughout cities, with some being free to unlock and 15 cents a minute and others one dollar to unlock and ten cents a minute. In Portland the bikes will be free to unlock and 15 cents a minute to use.

Some cities have offered a “boost plan” for eligible riders enrolled in certain programs already. For the cost five dollars a month, under the “boost plan” riders can have up to 60 minutes of daily ride time covered under their monthly payment. For every additional minute, riders will be charged seven cents.

Many cities across the world have adopted successful bikeshare programs, highlighting that bike share has many perks.

Hangzhou, China has a population of seven million and 66,500 to 78,000 bikes incorporated to their program with a goal of having 175,000 released by 2020. London, Paris, Montreal and Barcelona also have massive bikeshare programs that the rest of the world has followed since.

New York City is home to the biggest bikeshare program in the United States and was modeled after Montreal’s successful program.

For those in the area looking to explore Portland, the coming bikeshare through JUMP will be a fun, healthy and affordable opportunity to enjoy what the city has to offer in the warmer months.

When the city issued their request for proposals they had goals of what it would do for the city: promote and encourage bicycling as a safe and sustainable mode of transportation, provide additional first-mile and last-mile options to the city, expand on low-cost transportation and provide a new important role in the increase of transportation options.

Bikeshare, as it stands, will fulfill the goals the city of Portland has in mind.

“It is an awesome idea and one that Portland and other good cities have experimented with,” Dr. Robert Sanford, the Head of the Environmental Science department said. “It is a real opportunity to increase the viability and image of Portland as a livable community.”

According to the National Association of City Transportation Officials, ridesharing increases the visibility of riders, reducing the overall biking risk.

“Here are some effects as I see them,” Sanford said. “One, models a good, sustainable and resilient way to do things, two, builds community through social bonding via cooperation from sharing transportation, three, reduces dependence on automobiles, four, reduction of hydrocarbon emissions.”

**This article was updated on 4/3/19**

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