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Nike brings bike share to their Portland home with Biketown project

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Together with the Portland bureau of Transportation, Nike has announced a partnership deal with the city to grow the new bike share program that the already bike-friendly city had in the works. Portland had been shopping the new BIKETOWN bike share project around looking for a least $2 million to get it off the ground. But the city was especially happy to have local company Nike step in to be the project’s sole sponsor, and with a bigger financial commitment from Nike there will be even more public bikes available to Portlanders. Get a closer look at the bike fleet, and more details after the break…

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Nike has long roots in the greater Portland area, having been headquartered there since the 1970s, and have tried to work together the local community. They’ve committed to giving $10 million over five years which will see the originally planned 600 bikes at launch grow to a cool 1,000. That number makes Bike town the largest smart share in North America. And by smart share, that means that the bikes will be dockless, integrating software and tech in each bike that will make it easier and more flexible for bike share cyclists.

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The bikes will be predominantly Nike Orange and will get a hefty dose of Nike Swoosh branding. Part of the partnership deal was that Nike got to take over all of the design and graphics of the Biketown project. Nike also plans to roll out special limited edition colors or designs (like the brown bike below) to celebrate Nike and Portland special events and topics.

The aluminum bikes themselves are to be built by Social Bicycles of Brooklyn, and include a heavy-duty front basket, no-maintenance shaft drive system and integrated, automated LED lighting system. They also of course get full coverage fenders and step-through frames for ease-of-use. The on-board computer on the bike’s rear rack handles all of the tracking, as well as operates an integrated GPS-enabled u-lock that attaches to the non-driveside.  Using a bike is as easy as finding and reserving it through a mobile app or web browser, and locking it parked at any rack within the bike share service area when you are done.

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The final date of the rollout of the system is still up in the air, with a July 2016 estimate being talked about. Portland BOT had said they expected to go live 6 months after receiving sponsorship, but that time could even be trimmed with the new kiosk-free smart system. In any case it looks like 2016 is the year for the city-supported bike share program that has been on the boards since 2007.

 

PortlandOregon.gov & News.Nike.com

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Von Kruiser
Von Kruiser
6 years ago

Those are the coolest bike share bikes I’ve seen to date. Great job NIKE and thanks for promoting cycling. Don’t care if it’s electric or not as long as it gets any non-bike people to ride. Cycling is freedom.

Jeff Jones
Jeff Jones
6 years ago
Reply to  Von Kruiser

Agreed, end of the day it is all about getting more people on bikes. The only disappointment is that to make it happen the bikes must become marketing tools, style over substance in this case. Shaft Drive?? Clearly proven (on bicycles) to be expensive and not low maintenance. Euro city bike programs tried it and they all dropped them. You think Nike has dedicated the engineering resources to create a shaft drive for bicycles that works? Unlikely. Otherwise, nice looking. End of the day, they need last and be maintained if the program is to survive.

will
will
6 years ago

Well that’s pretty cool.

Colin
Colin
6 years ago

Nike is not based in Portland…

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
6 years ago
Reply to  Colin

Because Beaverton is such a trek? It’s the same urban area.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
6 years ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Technically Nike is not in Beaverton either. Due to Phil Knight’s pathological hatred of paying taxes Nike is in unincorporated Washington County and there is a state law passed at Knight’s behest preventing Beaverton from annexing the Nike campus for 35 years.
Suffice to say, despite living across the street from Nike’s offices, my running shoes are Pearl Izumi.

kyle
kyle
6 years ago

They could have at least sourced a PDX frame builder!

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
6 years ago
Reply to  kyle

Absolutely! First one that came to mind that could handle such a task is Zen Bicycle Fabrication.

Bikemark
Bikemark
6 years ago

No one gets rich off these contracts, so Zen might have taken a pass. Also, the contract is for bikes and software, and Social Bikes invested a lot in developing the latter. Bad software can hinder a bike share system as much as poor kiosk deployment, slow rebalancing, poor customer services, and unreliable equipment.

Antoine
Antoine
6 years ago

That’s a lof of money for 1000bikes don’t you think ? I understant there are salary, electronic and software but still a lot of money.

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