USA’s first all-electric bike share scheme gets operational boost from First Transit

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Public transit operator First Transit has entered an agreement with ride-hailing firm Lyft to provide operations for Biketown – the USA’s first all-electric bike share system.

The 1,500 bike share system has roughly 140 stations covering 30 square miles. Operations that will be taken on by First Transit include battery monitoring, deployment, retrieval, and general rebalancing of bike inventory.

Biketown consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy and durable e-bikes that use lock-to technology to create a transportation network across the city. The e-bikes can be unlocked from one station and returned to any other station in the system or locked to a public bike rack in the service area for a small fee.

Biketown bikes have electric pedal assist providing additional power when needed so the bike can go faster and get up hills and across bridges more easily.

Portland, Oregonget

“First Transit has led the way in mobility solutions for more than 60 years, and we are proud to be part of another first in our history – bike share operations,” says George Lee, senior director of business development for First Transit. “Biketown offers residents and commuters another affordable, convenient, and sustainable mode of transportation in Portland.”

“We are thrilled to be expanding our mobility options in the Portland area and to provide affordable and convenient transportation for all,” says Zach Greenberger, head of global supply management and strategic business development for Lyft.

Additionally, First Transit now provides Lyft Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) Service in Portland for passengers using a fixed-frame or non-collapsible wheelchair. To request a Lyft WAV, passengers enable wheelchair access in Settings via the Lyft app. The Lyft WAV’s are operated by certified drivers provided by First Transit. Other First Transit mobility solutions in the Portland area include TriMet LIFT and Yamhill County Transit paratransit service.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).