PBOT News Release: BIKETOWN expands e-bike service to Portland State University students, college students on financial aid citywide

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Portland Bureau of Transportation

News media contact:

Dylan Rivera




PBOT News Release:

BIKETOWN expands e-bike service to Portland State University students, college students on financial aid citywide

Thanks to a DEQ Clean Fuels grant via Portland General Electric, BIKETOWN for All will offer free rides for all qualifying Portlandersand free rides for college students on financial aid 

BIKETOWN e-bike at PSU Portland State University Sept 2021

Starting today, Portland State University students will be eligible for a monthly BIKETOWN benefit, and all college students on financial aid in Portland will be eligible for a free BIKETOWN for All membership. This image shows a BIKETOWN electric assist bike parked at PSU's Urban Center in downtown Portland. Photo by BIKETOWN.

(Sept. 16, 2021)  BIKETOWN, Portland’s beloved bike-share system operated by Lyft and known for its ubiquitous orange bicycles, announced three major initiatives today that dramatically increase access to electric assist bike-share for all Portland State University (PSU) students, people on low incomes, and college students on financial aid throughout the city.

Starting today, students throughout Portland who qualify for federal financial aid will qualify for a free BIKETOWN for All membership -- with no monthly membership fee -- and an unlimited number of 60-minute rides a month.

Also starting today, under a new agreement with Oregon’s largest urban university, all PSU students not eligible for BIKETOWN for All will be eligible for a ride credit to cover up to $20 a month of casual user fees.

Additionally, Portlanders who qualify for BIKETOWN for All through existing eligibility (outside of federal student aid recipients) will also be eligible for a free membership. This new benefit will waive the 5 cents a minute ride fee (for up to 60 minute rides) and $5 a month membership fee, which are already a significant discount compared with the cost of an annual membership.

Portlanders who qualify can sign up at BIKETOWNforAll.com. College students will upload a digital copy of their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) award letter. PSU students should sign up at the PSU BIKETOWN website.

"With extreme weather and climate change challenging our community, we need to do everything we can to make sure everyone has easy access to riding a bike," said City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). "By making BIKETOWN more affordable, we make it easier for people to try riding an e-bike to get where they're going, while reducing carbon emissions and pollution. I'm especially thankful for the partnerships that will introduce BIKETOWN to a new generation of college students. Thank you to PGE and all the partners who are investing in the success of BIKETOWN." 

"As students are returning to classrooms this fall, this is the perfect time for them to experience the excitement of riding BIKETOWN's e-bikes," said Transportation Director Chris Warner. "We appreciate the opportunity to work with PSU, PGE and Lyft who helped make this happen." 

"We're thrilled to see students on BIKETOWN bikes again," said Kevin Reynolds, Vice President for Finance & Administration at Portland State University. "It’s been a pleasure to have such committed partners in PBOT and BIKETOWN that have helped to make this program a reality. BIKETOWN is a wonderful option for students looking for an affordable and sustainable transportation option."  

BIKETOWN bike at PSU vertical


Sign up for BIKETOWN now

Starting today, college students citywide who are on federal financial aid can sign up for a free BIKETOWN for All membership:

Sign up here

All Portland State University students are eligible for a monthly BIKETOWN benefit. PSU students on federal financial aid are eligible for a free membership:

Sign up here

This expansion of BIKETOWN for All has been made possible by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Oregon Clean Fuels Program via the PGE Drive Change Fund.

BIKETOWN for All provides Portland-area residents living on low incomes with a reduced-cost BIKETOWN membership. The program is a partnership between PBOT, Lyft, participating affordable housing communities, social service agencies, and local nonprofits serving Portlanders with low incomes.

BIKETOWN for All members will still have to comply with the rules of the program, which help make the bicycles accessible to everyone who wants to use them. The first 60 minutes of any ride are free, and any additional ride time will cost 5 cent per minute. A $1 fee will apply if the bike is not parked at a BIKETOWN station. The out of station fee does not apply if a bike is parked at a BIKETOWN station or anywhere in the East Portland SuperHub Zone, a part of the service area east of 72nd Avenue (shown in green on the service area map).

BIKETOWN for All users parked outside of the 32 square mile service area would receive a $5 out-of-service-area fee. 


BIKETOWN is Portland’s bikeshare system, launched on July 19, 2016, with 1,000 bikes available to ride from one point to another for a small fee. BIKETOWN is now composed of 1,500 electric pedal-assist bicycles serving a 32 square mile service area, including portions of East Portland. BIKETOWN is a partnership between the City of Portland’s Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and Nike, the program’s founding partner and sole title sponsor. BIKETOWN is operated by Lyft, the world’s leading bikeshare operator. Using either the Lyft or BIKETOWN app, riders can easily find, rent, and park a BIKETOWN bike. BIKETOWN is designed to be affordable and accessible, encouraging even more Portlanders to ride and allowing visitors to experience the city by bike. Portland joins over 60 U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Indianapolis, Boise, and Austin and another 500 cities worldwide that have popular, safe, and successful bikeshare systems. biketownpdx.com

About PBOT

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the city’s transportation system and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage, and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility. portland.gov/transportation

About NIKE, Inc. 

NIKE, Inc., based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Converse, a wholly-owned NIKE, Inc. subsidiary brand, designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, NIKE, Inc.’s earnings releases and other financial information are available on the Internet at investors.nike.com. Individuals can also visit news.nike.com and follow @NIKE.

About Lyft 

Lyft was founded in 2012 by Logan Green and John Zimmer to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation, and is available to 95 percent of the United States population as well as select cities in Canada. Lyft is committed to effecting positive change for our cities and making cities more livable for everyone through initiatives that bridge transportation gaps, and by promoting transportation equity through shared rides, bikeshare systems, electric scooters, and public transit partnerships. Lyft