UK-headquartered First Group’s US subsidiary First Transit has entered an agreement with Lyft to provide operations for Biketown, Portland’s all-electric bike share system, the first in the US.
The partnership allows First Transit to perform field operations for Biketown’s 1,500 bike share system with roughly 140 stations covering 30 square miles. Operations include battery monitoring, deployment, retrieval and general rebalancing of bike inventory.
Biketown consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy and durable ebikes that use lock-to technology to create a transportation network across the city. The ebikes 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.
“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,” said 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,” said 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.