Expand Access to Bike Share at Reed

bikes parked beside Biketown NW 13th at Marshall map beside the road

This is part of a series of recommendations to improve access to sustainable transportation options at Reed College.

Why bike share?

Shared bikes reduce one of the primary barriers to cycling for transportation — access to a bicycle. Purchasing and maintaining a bicycle is a costly expense for students, especially international students and financial aid recipients. E-bikes which dramatically improve the utility of bicycling for transportation are even more costly.

Fortunately Portland has a public bike share system — BIKETOWN — which is operated by Lyft. The system has 1500 e-bikes available for anyone to use. To make bike share even more accessible there is BIKETOWN for All, a special discount program available to college students who are FAFSA recipients. 

Reed College is outside the service area

Unfortunately the BIKETOWN service area currently ends at SE Holgate Blvd, just a half mile north of the Reed College campus. Students must walk at least this half mile to reach the nearest available bikes, and ending a trip on the Reed campus would incur a $25 fee. This puts bike share out of reach for students, physically and financially, and makes what is otherwise a highly convenient option inconvenient.

Evidence of demand

Despite being located outside the service area, enough BIKETOWN bikes have been ridden on campus to show a network of common routes on the Ride Report Open Data Portal heat map. Seeing shared bikes regularly available on campus would continuously remind students of this convenient option, and encourage sustainable transportation choices.


Reed should request that BIKETOWN:

  1. Extend the service area south to include the Reed College campus
  2. Install a BIKETOWN station on campus
  3. Conduct campus outreach events to promote bike share
  4. Encourage Reed FAFSA recipients to sign up for BIKETOWN for All